It was the third time that a bouldering worldcup was held in Chongqing and my sixth trip to China.
We became all kind of specialists in handling this cultural shock after the last years. We arrived three days before the competition started in the same hotel as the last two years. Our bags were full of oatmeal, bars, nuts, because we had some bad experiences with the chinese food not being used to it and not knowing what you eat.
During the days till the competition we tried to get over the jetlag and stay in shape. Last year we had already discovered this olympic center with basketball courts and the typical chinese training playgrounds.
As real climbers we are of course not blessed with a natural ball handling talent, so pretty much all of us, except Jan, struggled with hitting the basket. Still it was huge fun to do some sport after a whole day of travelling.
Later on we still did some more serious exercises as pullups, campussing and some invented stuff by Udo on the playground.
The comp came closer and we got a little concerned as we hadn´t met any other competitors in the hotel yet… While we were joking about wether we messed up the date or they changed the city and we were the only team who didn´t know I texted Shauna Coxsey who told me that all the others are in a different hotel about half an hour away from where we were………
So we needed to move to the other hotel the next day:). Oups.
Then the comp began and it went quite well for me throughout all the rounds. I was already super happy that I made finals, as I never did so in four years of competing in the first comp of the year:).
Until the last boulder finals went quite perfect for me. The last boulder was a little too hard, so it had no more influence on the rankings. Only Alex Puccio sent it showing how strong she is on athletic boulders.
In the end it all came down to the tries on the second boulder, a jump. It turned out that I made one try less than Shauna, which put me on the first step of the podium!!!
While I was trying the last boulder I had no idea how many tries Akyio and Shauna had needed for the second boulder, but somehow I thought I had more tries, so I was surprised when Udo told me that I won:). Good start of the season!
After my climbing I still got to see Jan fighting up on his last boulder on some tiny crimps -> double victory!!!! It is such a good feeling to share this moment together!
The next day our adventure continued. We had our flight to Baku, Azerbaijan in the afternoon.
Once we arrived at the airport we were picked up by some nice guys from the competition. They came with official busses and drove us through the town to our hotel. It was crazy it was to get to see this city for the first time. Totally stunning. All those buidings and lights and besides I was still on cloud nine from having won in Chongqing:)… It was hard to realize that we´ve still been to China the same morning.
The next few days we explored Baku. We fell in love with the old town and the contrast to the newer buildings as the so called flame towers (by night they are illuminated which makes them look as flames).
Baku didn´t have to offer any climbing gym for a little training session, so we went on a playground again to do some pull-ups and core-exercises again. The playground was on a schoolyard so it became quite busy when the kids came out for there lunch break. They wanted to take photos with us, we needed to conciliate their love stories, and the little boys challenges big boys to pull-up-duels.
The other day we did some yoga in the fitness room of our hotel, from where we had a impressive view over Baku.
The competition went quite well. I made finals which was my main goal. After the observation I wasn´t really sure what to think about the boulders. They didn´t look very special (the routesetters told us they didn´t have enough holds and the mats arrived to late, so they had a hard time setting good boulders). Unfortunately they tunred out to be a little too easy, too.
Anna flashed all the boulders, Akyio and Shauna (dabbed on the last one) needed one more try and I needed three more tries. I had some trouble with the first boulder. On my first try I fell on the last move, then I fell once in the lower part. A technical incident (the clock didn´t show my time anymore) gave me a two minutes rest and after this I sent the boulder.
The last three boulders felt easier. I flashed boulder 2 and 3. On boulder 4, after the first move I was told to come down by a judge, because I dabbed. I didn´t feel having touched the floor at all, but in the end it didn´t change my result anymore. I did it next try and finished on fourth place.
I´m happy with my climbing as I did all the boulders in finals. It´s a little stupid that I didn´t do the first one in less attemps, but oh well, still many comps to do this year:).