A few words from the athletes

© Udo Neumann

Tomorrow the bouldering WC comes to Sheffield. I decided to ask some of the athletes a few questions. First up Anna Stöhr and Dave Barrans


Your results this year has been have been as great as they always are. Any prediction for this competition? Who do you "fear" the most?

Actually I don't really have a lot of predictions. My season didn't start too well, in Greifensee I didn't reach the finals and I know you can always be kicked out. Even if I won the last two events, there are so many strong girls! But I know if I get to the finals- everything can happen ;)

There has been some talk about the problem setting for the women, but you tend to end up first regardless of style. Do you have any thoughts about this?

It's true that there are some setting problems. I think the problem is, that the route setters change so often. No one has been setting two events this season, so it's really a tough job for them to calculate our levels. I think it would help a lot if there would be also a woman route setter for each event. But I know that there are not a lot of women who can do this job and the ones who can, compete themselves... So I think this problem needs to be discussed.

What's your favorite bouldering area?

I have a lot of favourite bouldering areas... I love Magic wood, cause its so close to my home. And the bouldering in the Rocklands was simply amazing last summer!! Also castle hill in New Zealand is cool- cause it's so different!

Anna Stöhr where she usually ends up, on the top of the podium
© Udo Neumann


You did really well at Eindhoven, and at one point you looked set for the podium. The season has been a bit up and down though. Any thoughts about this?

I think my season has actually been fairly consistent. The World cup field is so strong anyone in the top 50 can make the semi's, so I'm fairly happy with 3 out of 4 semis. I also had a bad finger injury over the winter so couldn't do quite as much training as I'd hoped.

How do you react when competing infront of a home crowd? Psyched, nervous or both? Is it an advantage or not?

It has been a while since i got to climb infront of a home crowd, it definately makes you more psyched. I don't really get nervous any more, i try to concentrate on being relaxed and climbing naturally, nerves just get in the way of that. I think the main advantage is knowing the style of problems.

Who do you "fear" the most?

I don't really fear anyone, it's you who has to climb the problem, if you don't climb it you can only blame yourself. I still have a lot of respect, for all the people who regularly make finals but they can still be beaten, I have finished ahead of them all at some point. I guess not being able to pull on to any problems would be my biggest nightmare.

Your prediciton?

I will be very annoyed if i don't get in the semi's, final would be nice but it is very hard to predict who will be in it! A Brit in the final would be amazing though.

Well, a Brit in the final... Gaz Parry sticks his neck out a tad further. When asking him what we can expect, the answer was quick: "A British 1, 2, 3". We'll see about that...

Dave Barrans on the 3rd problem in the finals at Eindhoven
© Udo Neumann

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