19th at EC in Gémozac

EYC Endgame (Kranj, Slovenia)
(Vlaams) Nationale training

On Saturday the 3rd of November I participated in the European Championship in Gémozac (FRA).

The Belgian team is very strong at the moment. We have been training very hard and the spirit is high. Anak and Loïc could consolidate there leading positions in Europe. Emilie, Sébastien and Chloé reached the finals again, except for me.

Counting the Days

It was a good thing that we were quite busy during the fall break. In between my training schedule, my niece and her husband took her cute little baby girl, me and my youngest sister to Pairi Daiza. We had a wonderful day in a wonderful place with all kinds of birds and other animals. We even petted a giraffe and fed bananas to an elephant. The Indonesian section with authentic buildings and many intricate sculptures was absolutely amazing. The next two days, me and my sister were invited to stay at Anak’s place. We took the bike and went to the woods, where we saw many different, tiny and huge toadstools of all colours.

At last, the end of the fall break had come and we could leave for Gémozac on Friday, early in the morning. It was a day’s ride, so I continued my night’s sleep for a while, but after all, boredom got the better of me. Anak offered me to read the abridged version of Pride and Prejudice, the book she has to read for her upcoming English exam.

Belgian Flag

In the evening we arrived at the hotel. There was a queuing buffet wit salad bar. I had a good spaghetti bolognaise for dinner and then we had breefing. I only had to remember that I had to get up at 8 am, have breakfast at 8.30 am, leave the hotel at 11 am and that I had to climb 22nd and 42nd. I shared a room with Joke and Julie. Julie climbs in the A group and had to leave early. Still having a lot of time in the morning, Joke polished the nails of her thumbs and big toes in the colours of the Belgian flag.

Technical Routes

At 11 am we took our minibus to the competition venue. On our way we passed a team on foot, so we knew that we were nearly there. The final routes were already built and covered with drapes. The remaining part of the wall was the straight section and the speed wall.  The two qualification routes were very technical with very small hand and foot holds. One of them was built on the speed wall. I’m not very good at technical routes. Although I felt very insecure, the first route was less difficult than I had imagined. This route was not impossible. The holds were small, but you could hold on to them. The second route was a disaster. I thought it would be easy, but it wasn’t. I had problems holding the holds and started shaking. I fell early: 19th position, no finals for me. I hope I will do better next time in Kranj. This is the last competition of the European Youth Cup. I’m ranked on the seventh place now.

Loic is European Champion

Before the finals, a wind band was playing nice music, but it lasted far too long. To kill the time Liselotte, Joke, Emilie, Maëlys, Margot, Liam and I played jungle speed. Liam, the only boy, was the first to loose to all the girls. Then one terribly long speech was held after the other, causing the finals to start with a delay of one hour and a half. The countries were represented by one climber holding the flag of his or her country. As Stasa was the only Serbian competitor, she held the flag of her country. After the ceremony, the hall turned blue, the curtains were raised, the wall became red and there was smoke. It was very beautiful.

In the A girls group, Anak, Jessica and Ana topped the finals route, but due to the new rules for youth competitions, Anak, being the slowest, dropped to the third place, although she had the better results (two tops) in the qualifiers. Chloé became 9th.

Loic was the only boy in the B group to top both qualifiers and in the finals he almost reached the top, which secured him the title of European champion. I am very happy for Loic after his bad luck in Singapore, where he missed the finals during the World championship.

Emilie and Sébastien both became 10th in the Junior category.

Flemish climbers (KBF):
Julie Elsevier (35)
Anak Verhoeven (3)
Joke Pierssens (33)
Celine Cuypers (19)
William Frimout (36)
Cédric Binst (35)
Liam Thijs (33)
Koen Baeckelandt (33)
Ignace Debreyne (20)

Walloon climbers (CAB):
Chloé Caulier (10)
Maëlys Gillart (28)
Margot Verhaeren (30)
Emilie Guerit (10)
Loïc Timmermans (1)
Nicolas Vancayzeele (16)
Nicolas Collin (22)
Sébastien Berthe (10)

All results on the IFSC-site.