The Bulgaria European Youth Cup was held in the capital city Sofia. It was one of the best sets of blocs I have been on and had some very unique holds.
After landing in Sofia very late I was relieved it was only a 10minute drive to the hotel.
As usual we arrived a day in advance to acclimatise to the weather and time difference of the country. I was especially grateful of this in Sofia as I didn’t manage to fall asleep until 4:30am! That wouldn’t have been the best competition prep.
We visited the wall the following day and were impressed even as we drove into the car park. The building was pretty impressive and looked a bit out of place compared with the rest of the city. It was air conditioned and the walls were built by Walltopia. Almost all the holds lit but you couldn’t see the bouldering walls because they were around the back of the centre hidden from all the athletes.
Nothing really changed with the time tables for my qualification but as I had no British company in Youth B girls it was nice to have Stephen there (youth B boys).
During the warm up I was conscious not to ware my skin down too much as we only had a moon board and some traversing to get ready on.
My qualification blocs looked like a hard set but also the majority of them were steep and jumpy!
I didn’t set my climbing off to a good start this Youth cup. I slipped off my first attempt before I’d even made the first move! From here I made some bad choices about which problem to try next and it got harder and harder to stay calm. At one point I had to leave the bouldering area and clear what just happened from my head and start again. I walked back in and pulled straight on and topped a dyno problem. From here I climbed well and the tops started happening. Finally I could start to relax and enjoy myself. After this I gained 4 more tops and a place in the final. It always amazes me how much your mental state can effect your performance.
I tried so hard on one of the blocs in qualification and I was so psyched to top it. At first look I knew it was my sort of thing. My finger tips hurt a lot on all the tiny crimps and staying balanced was really hard. I put everything into that climb and it ended my qualification well.
The results came out and I was in 4th. A few attempts of the top spot again but I was really pleased with myself for turning it around after a set back at the start of the competition. Making the finals was just another chance to climb again on some more amazing boulders.
Team GB had a some great results again. Stephen, Aidan and Max also made the finals!
Stephen and I were in the first finals of the day so it was another early start for us. My skin held up surprisingly well during warm up but those LED holds really wore it down in qualification. I found warming up was much quicker in this isolation zone and it was much harder to push in for wall space.
My aim for this competition was to smile and enjoy climbing. I think I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself and being too serious and didn’t see myself smile at all in L’arrgentiere (even though I was enjoying it!!)
Boulder 1 – bonus 1, Top 2
Boulder 2 – bonus 1, Top 1
Boulder 3 – bonus 2, Top 3
Boulder 4 – bonus 4, Top 0
Overall – 3t6, 4b8
I achieved my aim of relaxing and enjoying the final as well as getting a silver medal. I was so close to 1st, only 2 moves off the last Boulder! I am really psyched with this result so close to the World Youth Championships and excited to see some improvements over this season.
Thanks everyone who made it happen!