Dornbirn, Four Finalists, Two Silver Medals (9-10 May)
Although I was physically as good as back into shape after my injury from the last Belgian Youth Cup in April, I could have done much better if I had been stronger mentally. The first qualification went fairly smoothly. I paid attention to my breathing and I stayed quite calm. This performance was worth a 5th place. In the second qualification I had to climb second last. Having seen the six girls before me all fall at the same place, I had become extremely stressed. Not wanting to fall, my climbing was very static and too stiff. Reaching the crux, I became very stressed, I had forgotten to apply all calming-down techniques right from the start of the route and I lost control, so this resulted in a 20th place with a final result of 12th out of 33 competitors. Two places short of a ticket to the finals.
With four finalists and two silver medals, however, the Belgian team did a great job after all. Héloïse Doumont and Harold Peeters both grabbed the silver medal in their categories. Nicolas Collin became 8th and Simon Lorenzi finished 11th.
Imst, Finally in the Finals Again (30-31 May)
I shared a room with Cathinka and she had to wake up in the early shift. I had the middle shift. I was sleeping lightly and I heard Cathinka moving around, until I heard the lock of the door click. Uh, that wasn’t supposed to happen, I thought. Then I jumped out of the bed and knocked on my own bedroom door and silently called Cathinka’s name, so as not to wake the others, but it was of no use, she was already gone. I then texted her and Liselotte telling them that I was locked up in my bedroom. Of course everybody found that very funny.
The first quali was a technical route on the right side of the wall. I had to climb in the middle or something. So I had a little bit of time. I read my route and then watched the demo. It was a live demo and I really like that. Live demo’s are so much better than video. Live has much more detail which a video is lacking.
For the rest, I warmed up in the boulder and tried not to stress too much. Soon I found myself at the bottom of the route tying my shoelaces. I talked a bit with my neighbour and supported for the one before me. The route had yellow holds and a lot of new holds I didn’t know. I started and at one point I came to a volume where I could see the audience. I thought for a moment whether I should wave at Laure-Anne. I decided not to do it, but then she waved at me and that was all the motivation I needed, so I waved back. I climbed very good in the route and I reached the hold before the top.
The second route was easier and even a little bit too easy. I topped it and so did Elfe, who rejoiced: “The top came closer and closer. And then I had it.” She didn’t reach finals but she was close. I reached the finals and I was so happy. Maybe a little bit too happy.
The next day, I woke up early and went into isolation for the finals. The isolation was in the climbing hall and the routes were on the outdoor wall. I warmed up and my nerves raised in level. I was still in a dream world, because I was in the finals and I became too nervous. I tried to calm down, but it didn’t work. Everything went so quickly and I had to climb all too soon. I was very happy but too excited and not concentrated enough. We had a route on the left side of the wall. At position 31, I set a foot hook, but this was wrong causing me to lose my balance and I fell so I ended 10th.
Youth Championship Edinburgh, Three Finalists, One Silver Medal (12-14 June)
I topped one quali, which wasn’t so difficult and I gained two places in the semis, but I wasn’t happy about it, having missed the finals. Ranking 13th, I was 5 places short of making it to the final top eight of this year’s European Youth lead climbing Championship. Elfe came just behind me and Héloïse finished 18th. Although the Belgian A girls didn’t perform that good, we had still three finalists in the other age groups. Anak Verhoeven became vice European champion in the female junior category. Harold Peeters was too short in the finals of the B boys and had to be satisfied with an 8th place. Simon Lorenzi became 7th of the male juniors.