Report by Calrin Curtis
Upon my arrival in Singapore the first thing that hit me was the heat, it was almost unbearable. Secondly as the days before the competition rolled by I noticed what a clean, efficient and fascinating city Singapore was. We stayed in a small hotel in Chinatown which was two train rides away from Sentosa Island where the competition was being held.
The climbing wall was situated on the beach which made for a spectacular setting. The opening ceremony was filled with excitement and some familiar faces from last year as the teams were called out. The first day of competition was extremely exciting. I climbed 9th right after my brother and felt that I had made a decent effort despite the route being extremely challenging from the very beginning.
I ended the day placed 24th out of 51 climbers and the only South African within the semi final cut off of 26. I was extremely excited by this news and the first thing I did was call my coach who unfortunately was not able to be there.
Although I was excited at my placing I remained focused as I knew the job was only half done. I started watching the u17 boys climb their route as I knew from last year that I probably would be climbing it tomorrow. The next day came and I was climbing quite later on. Fortunately I was correct in assuming that we would be climbing the u17 boy’s route and throughout the day I watched competitors who placed near me the previous day. I knew every move of the route and I knew where I had to get.
I knew I was strong enough and ready. Unfortunately when I finally came up to climb my route everything went wrong. I couldn’t decide between two sets of beta in a more difficult than expected first move and by the time I got through it I was panicking a little. I made one of my most regrettable mistakes to date and made a desperate throw at a grip without placing my feet properly and slipped off. It was one of the worst feelings I have ever felt as I saw my hopes of being the first South African to reach the semi finals crumble.
I wasn’t even slightly tired and I know that despite the indecision in the first move I could have made it to where I needed to get to. Words couldn’t describe my disappointment. I finished 35th overall. I think the only other South Africans that came close the making semis were Caitlin and Tristan but overall we didn’t do that well and unfortunately are still quite far from the top countries.
Overall however it was a memorable trip and I greatly enjoyed the opportunity and the chance to meet new people and just experience Singapore. It was an unforgettable experience and I am very happy that I was able to represent my country in such a fantastic sport.