In my last article I wrote I felt in great shape and that I was motivated for the World Cup in Imst… In the end, I had a strange day where qualifications didn’t go as expected but semi-finals did !
For the qualifications, the routes stopped before the roof (as usual) as they would be too long for 6 minutes otherwise. That makes the qualifications routes in Imst always special with some hard slabs and technical movements. So both routes were very technical in the start and had a rather physical end right at the start of the roof.
I had a good and long warm up as I had to climb among the lasts and it’s very cool in Imst that we can warm-up in the indoor gym which is pretty big ! However, I felt surprisingly weak and bad in my first qualifications. After passing the technical slab pretty easily, I got pumped in only a couple of moves and fell although I wanted to fight much more. In the second route I felt the same way and my hand slipped mid-way. I was lucky this was enough for semi-finals with a 25th place for only 26 places in semis ! But then I also started to have some doubts about my shape… Maybe it was because I still had a big training week right before and didn’t recover yet or maybe I was tired and just not awake,… I don’t know !
After thinking about it for a couple of minutes I just stopped with this doubts and tried to stay confident because of the good trainings I had the days before. I focused on recovery for the semi-finals of that same evening and decided to not think about qualifications anymore. The semi-final route was much much longer than qualifications and didn’t look very complicated. It was pure endurance climbing ! I had to climb second and actually didn’t warm-up much as I still felt warm from the morning… I had great sensations during my climbing and I was so happy to finally fight my way up the wall again ! In the end, falling at the crux of the route before the very last part got me a 10th place and finals being only one move away ! So close and yet so far… The next day was finals day and after a little walk in the beatutiful Rosengartenslucht of Imst, the belgian team was ready to cheer for Anak who was 1st after semi-finals ! Unfortunately, Anak timed-out while she was only one hold away of victory and we all felt very sad for her because we know her dedication for competitions and how much she really can do ! But this is something every athlete has to deal with and I’m sure Anak as much as the rest of the belgians will give everything for the next World Cup in Arco this weekend !
Talking about timing out… I’ve heard many critics about the wall in Imst because it’s too tall and the routes too long so it’s impossible to climb them within the 8 minutes according to IFSC rules and that they can be pretty boring to watch. Personally, I think the wall is great because it’s a real endurance challenge and that makes the World Cup in Imst so different from the other world cup’s venue! But as I don’t think the IFSC rules will change regarding the time and that we should be able to climb normally (and not speed-climb), I think the start of the routes should be less complicated or very straight so the climbers can climb it faster and have a real endurance battle on the top of the routes !
That doesn’t mean the start should be a ladder but something less tricky maybe like the men’s final this year ! It was pretty dynamic and straight forward so nobody timed out and there was a great fight for all climbers on the top… The next World Cup will take place in Arco/Italy next weekend and I’m very psyched again to climb there as it is one of my favourite walls but also venue !
It really feels like holidays when you are there ! It’s also a special event because I’ve been there since I was maybe 7 or 8 years old and I had my first international competitions on that wall ! It’s also there that I met John Ellison, founder of CAC, who passed away last winter. I have so many great memories there that I just can’t wait to climb and create some new ones 😉.
I had a last training in Tivoli/Innsbruck and now a good rest until Friday !! Oh! By the way! Did you know that it will be Arco’s first time hosting a Lead World Cup there!