Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday in Noumea: Qualifying Round

The World Youth Climbing Championships got underway Saturday, with the Qualifying Round of the Difficulty competition. "Difficulty" (also known as Lead climbing) is the discipline in which each climber's score is based on how high they get on each climb before falling. And although these climbers are each among the very best in their own country, most of them will fall before reaching the top of each climb at this competition. There are two qualifying climbs whose results are combined (using some obscure math) to determine the top 26 climbers per category who advance to the semi-final round. There are 3 categories per gender: Youth B (14/15 years old), Youth A (16/17) and Junior (18/19).

I had breakfast in my room, and spent a little while reviewing an article for the competition web site, rephrasing some parts of it to make it read better in English. I also had some work to do for the Ontario Climbing Federation (OCF), posting some information about the coming season to our web site (a little awkward in parts using my iPad, as I had left my laptop at home).

The first Qualifying round ran from about 9am to 1pm. The Canadian climbers were scattered across that time period, and there was a good group of Canadians (athletes, coaches, and some parents) cheering all of our climbers on. It was especially exciting to watch Jack and Olivia Wyett, siblings who train at my gym, when their turns came, as well as 3 others kids from Ontario that I see climb all the time. All remained in the running to advance after their first climb.

Olivia, me and Jack in front of the competition wall

Olivia's patriotic nail polish

Jack and a teammate review their climb

Local kid tries a mashup of
a sombrero from the Mexican team with the Aussi mascot

I returned to my hotel for a siesta after the first round, with the second Qualifying round not starting until 5:30pm. I had some lunch, had a little rest, and soaked my sunburned head in the sink a few times to relieve some of the heat! It was mostly cloudy this morning, but the sun managed to do some damage nonetheless.

Back to the comp for the evening session. Our climbers did well, with about half of them advancing to semi-finals. Unfortunately this did not include Jack or Olivia, who were both close to the cut-off, but did not quite make it. This was not unexpected; most of the Canadians knew they were likely getting only two climbs at this competition, and they should all be very proud of how they have represented their country.

I returned to my hotel, and got to bed after a little reading.

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