13 year-old Emily Phillips came 6th in her first European Youth Cup (Bouldering) in Graz, Austria last weekend. Despite being one of the youngest in her age group, Emily has had an excellent start to her competition year - making finals in both the Lead (UKC News Report) and Boulder European Youth Cup events in the past month.
With a 9th place in Imst and 6th place in Graz, Emily has already proven herself to be one of the top all-round competition climbers in her first year of the Youth B category.
She told UKC:
'Going to my first international competitions was very exciting. It is amazing seeing how different the routes and boulders are compared to what we see here in the UK. What I was most surprised at was the amount of volumes they used for setting. The final route at Imst was mostly big holds and volumes which I had never climbed on before. Also, after the qualifiers in Graz, it was really nice to see that training does pay off and I could do many more blocs than I thought!'
Emily exceeded her expectations in both competitions, in what can be a daunting situation for young athletes making their international circuit debut. She commented:
'I had no clue what to expect when I went out there - I just knew it would be difficult. Even though this was my first international, and was mainly for experience, I used the thought of making finals to push me so I could climb my best. In both competitions it was very close, whether I would make finals or not. I remember waiting for the results to come out, keeping my fingers crossed for a place!'
Already selected to compete in the European Youth Championships in Lead in Mitterdorf, Austria and for another bouldering EYC in France, Emily also hopes to take part in the World Youth Championships in China this November and is aiming high.
'I found both of the competitions were an amazing experience and I am so psyched for the next EYCs so I can fix my mistakes and hopefully climb better. My ambition is to be World Champion for both lead and bouldering and by going to my first EYCs I have come one step closer to fulfilling it.'
GB Team Results
Youth B Female
Emily Phillips 6th
Holly Toothill 22nd
Martha Lubckynskyj 38th
Youth A Female
Silvia Barrett 16th
Emily is sponsored by: Outdoor Kit