Friday, 16 November 2012

Singapore Worlds; Overcoming Competition Nerves by Charlotte Garden

I have always had problems with nerves before major competitions. Especially in Linz, Austria where I made a mess of my 1st route when I accidentally missed a clip and got pulled off by the belayer!  So I knew the World Championships in Singapore was going to be a big challenge for me, both physically and mentally.
Rainy Singapore
Sentosa is a theme park island of Singapore, a really clean place, so clean that you can get fined for dropping chewing gum and litter. The place has a real western feel which surprised me as I thought it would be more cultural. The comp wall had been built on the beach which was really cool because it was a pleasant 5 minute walk from our hotel. Sentosa Beach Resort hotel was awesome too, built surrounding the swimming pool which was massive and all eco friendly by recycling the water.
I was prepared for the humidity of Singapore, but had no idea it would rain so much! Almost every section of the comp was interrupted by torrential rainfall followed by hours of waiting for the holds to dry. This didn’t do much for the bouldering warm up wall which was constantly covered in wet sand, and that’s no good when it gets between your toes!
However my mood was lifted when I recognised a load of the holds which helped me to read the routes. There was also some massive red toilet seat double pinch that I managed to get a cheeky knee bar and no hands rest in!

This was an amazing competition to watch climbers like Momoka Oda (who had just won the Worldcup in Imst, Austria!) climb the final routes that snaked all over the wall with spot lights following. So inspirational!
There were only 6 of us in our team making a more close-knit group than usual which gave a pleasant sense of friendship.  Ian Dunn and Ruth Dunne did a great job of looking after us during our stay ensuring everyone was kept happy and prepared to compete.
I ranked in 22nd overall which I was happy about because normally I get really nervous and my head goes blank and my climbing doesn’t flow and it feels alien. I basically just “brick it” and end up hold on too tight because I don’t want to fall off which makes me more pumped and I fall off! I also had an aim with my coach Paul to get into the semi-finals which I did and I managed to combat some of the nerves that were trying to take over me :)
The rest of the team did really great too, an awesome effort from everyone, especially William Bosi coming 4th and Molly Thompson-Smith qualifying in joint 2nd for the semi-final then overall 7th!!
Thanks for an amazing trip and awesome experience!
The Team (from left) William Bosi, Buster Martin, Dom Burns (Irish Team), Jonny White, Tara Hayes, Molly Thompson-Smith and me

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