We’ve just arrived in India for the fourth World Cup of the season so I figured it was about time I got some thoughts down about the last World Cup two weekends ago in Chongqing, China.
Thinking back it’s hard to remember anything but the heat and humidity. It was an incredibly challenging round. The qualification for the women took place in full sun. Despite the harsh conditions Leah, Michaela and myself all made it through to the semi final. Ty was the only male competing for team GB and he squeezed his way into semi finals too meaning every GB team member would be competing in the semi finals. Not bad at all!
This was my 5th time competing in Chongqing. I’ve seen many parts of the city and stayed in multiple hotels. This year was definitely an upgrade on previous experiences. Our hotel room was really nice and considering we take all of our own food with us and spend very little time outside the room, it makes all the difference! A decent bed and a clean, calm environment has such a huge impact on my mood. Travelling with Leah makes everything way more fun too! People are constantly telling me how lucky I am travelling the World and seeing so many different places. Japan was a rare treat as we actually had some time to sightsee and explore but normally we see the inside of a hotel room and a climbing wall. Travelling with someone who makes the hours and hours of waiting pass faster is a luxury I will never underestimate. We really do seem to do a lot of waiting. We wait to go to the airport, wait to board the flight, wait for the train, wait for the taxi, wait to check into our room, wait until its time to eat, or go to sleep, to go to the comp, to start warming up, to climb etc. Don’t get me wrong I love competing and travelling and I wouldn’t want to change what I do but it’s interesting what people perceive our reality to be.
The semi finals proved a tricky round for the men and the women. With two tops in both the men’s and the women’s securing you a spot in the final. I felt like I was climbing well. The heat was powerful but bearable and I managed to flash 3 of the 4 semi final boulders. There was one boulder made up of just volumes that I couldn’t quite stick the final move on. I kept slipping off, which was annoying but I didn’t really feel like there was anything I could do to prevent it. That was the second boulder. The first was a tricky slab and the third started with some more balancey moves into a powerful finish. The final boulder was powerful and required a hard campus rose move in the middle. I quite enjoyed it. It definitely wasn’t a typical women’s comp boulder and it was quite fun to climb! I finished up the round in first place heading into finals with some new faces. Its been great to see so many new faces in finals lately!
It was hot by the time finals came around. Really hot and the sun was beaming down onto the black mat and the boulder problems. It was so hot in fact that I decided to take my umbrella out to presentation and observation, much to the amusement of the crowd. I just didn’t think my pale skin could handle the rays. The boulders looked quite tricky and they were. The first saw a few tops but no flashes. It started with an awkward run across volumes into some hard moves to finish. The second boulder didn’t see a top at all. The third only Akiyo and myself did and the same with the final boulder. Going out to the last boulder I was pretty sure that Akiyo had topped three boulders. To be in with a chance of winning I had to do the last one too. I wasn’t sure how many attempts Akiyo had used so I had to really focus and try hard. The final boulder for the women was hard and super powerful. It’s the kind of boulder I’d make up in training but not something we’d ever get in a comp. The crux was a big dynamic move to a relatively good (but definitely not juggy) pinch and to stay on the wall you had to catch this hold and stab your foot out onto a volume. I had to give more than I was ready for on my first two attempts. I really wanted to do this boulder. I took a deep breath, focused and tried really hard. It wasn’t easy. Sticking that move felt so good. It was one of those moves that makes you feel a little bit like a super hero. Where you swing so far it seems impossible to stay on, yet somehow you find yourself still in contact with the wall and not sat on the mat.
The conditions in China made it a difficult round. I am unbelievably happy to have walked away with my third gold of the season. I’ve been going out onto the mat with every intention to give my best performance and thats exactly what I’m going to continue doing. I can’t wait to compete again. We’ve only had one weekend off and I’m already raring to go again! After a busy week at home rushing around for events and to see family and friends it actually feels quite relaxing to be on the road again. We’ve just registered for the comp and now we’re just waiting until it’s an acceptable time to go to sleep.