Last Thursday to Saturday the World Youth Championships was held in Imst, Austria. We were eight juniors competing for Denmark, and I was one of them. I was going to compete in the Female Youth B group (the youngest group for girls born in 1996/97).
We arrived at München airport Wednesday evening, and drove directly to Innsbruck to join the rest of the Danish competitors at our hostel 60 km from Imst. After a good - but probably a bit too short - sleep, I was ready to compete against the world’s best Youth B girls. The first qualification route was presented at 9AM. All competition routes were placed on the outdoors competition wall and my first route had orange holds. The route started out with about five meters vertical climbing and then the wall became steeper and steeper. It looked like some nice and technical climbing. There were about thirty climbers before me, and I watched many of them climb, observing beta. Many of the girls came quite far up, and therefore I thought that it might not be a very tough route. After an hour of warming up, I was ready to climb. I had my nerves under control, and knowing that I was in my best climbing shape ever, I was quite confident when it was my turn.
The first holds were quite good, and I climbed fast with a good flow. When I clipped the fourth quick draw I thought that this might be a very good attempt, about four meters up. No pump or tiredness. I put my foot up and reached for the next hold. Suddenly my foot slipped and I was dangling on the rope. I was very frustrated and sad. I was ranked 70 out of 72, so bottom three for the first route.
The second qualification route would be Friday, but with my very bad ranking from the first qualification route, I knew that the semi-finals (only the best 26 climbers in every group) would be unreachable.
After some time I managed to change my mood, and enjoyed the rest of the day watching the other climbers and cheering my team mates on. I told myself that tomorrow should be a day, where I could show that I was not in the bottom three. After a long, sunny and hot and humid day, we drove back to our hostel.
Friday morning we drove to Imst again, to climb the second qualification route. I was very motivated and was looking forward to show not only my trainer, friends and dad, but mostly myself, what I was capable of. My second route had orange and red-holds, which looked pumpy with some long moves. It started with vertical climbing in two sections – the first a few meters of slightly overhanging wall, and after the two sections it was overhanging climbing. The holds looked quite bad, but luckily many of them were crimps (my favourite kind of hold).
I was first going to climb as number 66, so I had a lot of time to watch the other climbers.
Finally, after many hours it was my turn to climb. Many girls had fallen in the lower section of the route, and it was only a few who had made it to the top overhanging section. I was quite nervous after what happened the day before on the first qualification route. If I made a mistake on this route, I had not only failed one time, but twice.
I tried to tell myself that I could and would do good. Now it was just to climb, learn and have fun.
The first vertical section was not very hard, and suddenly I found myself climbing through the second section, where many girls had fallen. I started to get tired, but forced my body further up and up. When I reached the start of the top section I fell of, just managing to touch the first hold.
Quite satisfied with my attempt, I knew that the result on the second qualification route, would better show me my position compared to the other competitors. It turned out I was number 14 out of 72, and that was a much better result than I had dared hope for!
All in all I was positoned number 32, and knowing that I could have done much better I now feel confident to compete at international competitions again.
Actually I hope to participate to an European Youth Cup this November in France.
You can see some pictures from the event here: WYCH2011