On 18th and 19th May Innsbruck, Austria, held the fourth round of the 2012 IFSC Bouldering World Cup.
Innsbruck is possibly the perfect city for mountain people and with the competition being held in the central market square with the awe-inspiring 'Nordkette' mountain range as a backdrop, the competition was bound to be well supported by the local population.
Innsbruck has built up a solid reputation as the world's capital of competition climbing and expectations for the event were high. Athletes from all around the world battled their way through the difficult qualification round on Friday. Shauna Coxsey, Ned Feehally and I made it through to the semi-final on Saturday. Dave Barrans and Mina Leslie-Wujastyk just missed out on qualifying.
Saturday morning soon arrived and the athletes made their way back into the isolation zone situated next to the River Inn. I was out first and although I was relatively relaxed, I still wanted to do well and secure a much sought after top-10 placement. After a good warm up session with team mate Ned, I felt prepared and managed to flash 3 blocs. Ned was soon out and managed to top 3 blocs. We discussed the blocs after and realised that we may have secured a place in the final that evening. Ned had a nail-biting wait as the World Champion, Dmitrii Sharafutdinov, attempted to climb the last semi-final boulder. He needed a good few attempts to start it meaning that Ned had gained a place in the final. Shauna Coxsey put in a strong performance on the semi-final boulders securing a place in the final too.
Three British climbers were going to be climbing in a Boulder World Cup final that evening!
The bars and restaurants surrounding the market square soon filled up on Saturday evening ready for the final. The athletes were called up one by one for the presentation in front of a sea of 3500 spectators. The atmosphere was fantastic!
Shauna Coxsey looked as though she was going to take gold until a few mistakes on the final boulder left her in 2nd place behind the local girl Anna Stoehr. Kilian Fischhuber took first place ahead of Rustam Gelmanov and Sean McColl. Ned and I ended up with 5th and 6th places respectively.
The next round of the 2012 IFSC Bouldering World Cup will be held on 1st and 2nd June in Vail, USA. Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, Shauna Coxsey, Tyler Landman, Dave Barrans and David Mason will be competing.
Thanks go to Heiko Wilhelm for the photograph.
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