I slept well. I’m taking a hot shower in the morning and get myself ready to leave to the competition. I check my bags and leave everything I won’t need at the hotel. Alright, it’s time to get some breakfast.

I run down the stairs and enter the restaurant part. Nikki already started her breakfast. I’m going to pick a nice chocolate bun, some muesli, yogurt and grab myself a cup of tea.

Wouter and Tim are joining us and we’re having a nice breakfast together. After breakfast we’re driving to the venue. At the climbing gym it seems pretty crowded. When I check in, I receive a start number and a lunch bag. Many climbers are warming up already and there are televisions and computers to observe the demonstration of the qualifications.

I’m going to check the competition wall outside. My attention goes to the 2nd qualification route, which is the black route at the right side of the wall. I’m looking around and notice that Jorg and Elko are present as well. I’m looking at the holds with Jorg and together we’re figuring out the right sequence. It looks pretty nice. There are lots of big holds with many footholds.

I’m going to warm up inside and traverse horizontal on the wall. I feel like climbing some routes and put on my harness. None of my team members is wearing a harness. Perhaps one of the Austrian team members would like to belay me. Jakob Schubert is cool and he’s willing to belay me, how nice of him.

Wally is trying to get my attention and together we’re observing how David Lama is climbing the 2nd qualification route. I have little time left to warm up. I should get pumped in a route but there is no time. It’s my turn to climb my first qualification route.

I’m sitting on a chair in front of the route, waiting until it’s my turn to climb. Monique Stuut, an official judge, is standing in front of me. She checks up on my tag and I can sense her staring at me. All I can think about now is the route and its movements.

The route is quite nice until I get to this undercling. My left arm is getting pumped! I have to climb to the right and barely fix this hold. I need to match my left hand and I’m going to make a heel hook with my left foot. Then I have to jump to this big hold on my right. It feels pretty heavy. I’m going for it but unfortunately I can’t control the swing. I’m back on the floor, my left arm feels pumped and my right arm isn’t pumped. It was a hard movement there. I should’ve warmed up properly.

It’s time to digest some food. I’m going to eat a Powerbar and a currant bun and drink lots of water. In the mean time I’m encouring my team members but they are having the same problem and are not able to pass those movements. I’m concentrating on my second qualification route. It’s a yellow route and it looks quite technical. I believe you should climb this route with control, there is no room for mistakes.

I’m trying to memorize the route and talk to Wouter about the first crux. The placement of your hands on a volume is important. I need to lock off my arm on this volume in order to continue and reach the next hold. I’m going to warm up again and traverse horizontal on the wall.

Route demonstration on tv

Soon it’s my turn again. I’m wiping my shoes on my pants before I enter the wall. I chalk my hands and look at the route one more time. The route is set for me. I feel quite relaxed when I climb. At the moment my only goal is to last longer than my first route. It seems to work, I concentrate on the next few holds and shake my arms. I should enjoy this route, sometimes I forget about that during a competition. It will be all fine. Once again I get to an undercling, I can rest well in this position and shake my arms. I know the next few movements are pretty tough because I’ve seen others fall out of the route at this point. I’m going for the next hold, then match with my left hand. Now continue with my right hand again to this hold which is very positive. I have to go to the left, the next hold is pretty far away and I’m trying to grab this small hold with my left hand. It is too small and I have to abort my movement to the left. I’m falling out of the route! Darn, I wasn’t even able to fight in this route. What a bummer, it went so nice! When I’m on the floor, I look upon the wall. What is going on? This is not enough to get me to the finals.

When I change my clothes I receive a text message from Timo Tak. Well done, with some luck you might make it to the semis! I was a bit surprised, how is that possible? I didn’t climb that much and yet there is a chance to advance to the semis.

It’s only a matter of time until the rest of the climbers are finished. The end result was a 23rd place for me. 26 people are going to the semis and I’m one of them! Hahah awesome!

Judges calculating end results

Qualification results

I’ll have another chance to prove myself on Saturday. My first semis will be at Puurs. Hopefully I’m able to climb much better than today.

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