14 year old Emily Phillips from Cardiff placed 3rd in the IFSC European Youth Cup (Bouldering) in Soure, Portugal last weekend, competing in the Youth B category (14-15 age group). This was Emily's first international podium after making multiple finals in both lead and bouldering events last year.
Despite her great result, Emily has her eyes firmly on the top spot. She told UKC:
'My aim is always to win and at this competition I felt a lot closer to that goal. After making finals in both of the bouldering EYCs that I went to last year, I was really hoping to podium. Despite the initial disappointment of being so close to winning I am so so happy to have achieved my first ever international podium!'
Emily completed three out of the four final problems and came agonisingly close to topping the third problem and winning. She explained:
'I really enjoyed climbing in the final and the problems were amazing. I loved the run and jump on problem 2 and was so psyched to stick it on my first attempt. Problem 3 was the worst route reading I did in the competition! The 4th problem was totally my style and I'm still surprised I topped as I thought my arms and shoulders were about to give in when I held the bonus on my second attempt. It's the most tired I've ever been in any bouldering final!'
A well-rounded competitor, Emily trains for both lead and boulder events and also fits in a speed session whenever she visits the IFSC speed wall at Awesome Walls, Sheffield. She told UKC:
'My training is tailored towards both lead and speed disciplines and has worked reallly well for me so far.'
So far this year, Emily has been selected for four European Youth Cups; two lead and two boulder, but the main event that Emily is hoping to be selected for is the World Youth Championships in August.
When asked her thoughts on the Olympics, Emily commented:
'Going to the Olympics would be amazing and I would be honoured to represent Great Britain, but I am too young to be selected for next year's Youth Olympics and the selection process for the main games is not decided yet.'
Summing up her feelings on her 3rd place, Emily is inspired and looking ahead:
'It's such a great feeling to know that everything you have worked for has paid off and it has given me more motivation to train harder and get the top spot at the next EYC in France.'
Team GB was also represented in the Junior Female final by 17 year-old Hannah Slaney, who placed 4th and narrowly missed out on 3rd place.
Read Emily's blog on the competition.
Emily is sponsored by: La Sportiva and PGL