In a successful week for the British junior climbing teams, Emily Phillips (14) and Jim Pope (18) brought home Silver and Bronze in the European Youth Cup in Boulder and Lead respectively. Emily was competing in the Youth B category in Sofia, Bulgaria last weekend in the bouldering event, while Jim completed his last European Youth Cup lead event in Mitterdorf, Austria yesterday.
Emily's Silver medal is her second in an IFSC international youth event, following a Bronze earlier this year. Emily told UKC:
'After getting 3rd in Portugal I tried not to expect too much from Bulgaria. I obviously wanted to improve my position but anything can happen in a competition, so I didn't want to get too excited.'
'In the final I felt that I climbed well and was happy with my performance. I am so psyched to get 2nd place, but I was a little bit frustrated with how close I was to Gold. On the last problem I was two moves away from the top and 1st place.'
Jim has history with the wall in Mitterdorf, having won the same event there in 2015. Finishing his European Youth Cup career on a high with his 3rd place, Jim will now move on to senior level competitions. Last month, Jim achieved 16th place in his first senior semi-final in Briançon, France. He told UKC:
'It was really nice to finish my last European Youth Cup with a 3rd place and it's good to know that I'm going in the right direction before the World Youth Championships coming up in a few weeks.'
Both Jim and Emily are now looking forward to the World Youth Championships in Innsbruck, Austria at the end of this month. Emily told us:
'I'm looking forward to comparing my performance to my first World Youth Championships last year in China. I have a lot to learn from that experience so hopefully I can use it to improve my position and hope to climb as well as I can.'
Five members of the GB Junior Lead Team made finals in Mitterdorf, and four juniors made finals in Sofia in the bouldering EYC, with many just missing out on a podium finish.
Sofia EYC (B)
Emily Phillips - 2nd
Stephen Keir - 4th
Aidan Roberts - 5th
Max Milne - 5th
Mitterdorf EYC (L)
Jim Pope - 3rd
William Bosi - 4th
Hannah Slaney - 5th
Hamish McArthur - 5th
Kitty Morrison - 11th
Emily is sponsored by: La Sportiva and PGL
is sponsored by: SportsAid and Stronghold