The Junior GB team went to the European Youth Cup held in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria between 1st and 4th August 2011 and Ed Hamer secured a great 4th place in the Male Junior Lead competition.
The following is a report from Alister Martin who accompanied the GB Team to the event.
Alister Martin's report
A MONTH’S hard climbing in Céüse paid dividends for Ed Hamer in last week’s European Youth Cup round in Bulgaria, with a crowd-pleasing one-armer helping him secure a career-best fourth place in the final and an overall third place European ranking.
Ed was one of three male juniors to top both qualifiers. He came out of isolation to face a brutal final route that no-one completed. But he secured his finishing place with that move.
All the category finalists had struggled to find foot placements to get them secure on a hold above a fat horizontal barrel that had bullied almost everyone else off the route. Ed simply reached for the hold, dropped his feet in perfect control, and pulled up above the barrel on one arm to secure the ‘+’ score that got him fourth place.
Unfortunately, a similar one arm move - a prolonged lock-off - put paid to Sam Brannigan’s tournament in Youth A. He reached 15th place in the first qualifier, but the move that got him there exacerbated a pre-existing shoulder injury and he had to withdraw. All the same, his ranking went to 26th.
Buster Martin, in Youth B, pulled off a very creditable 5th place in his second qualifier. But it wasn’t quite enough to make up for his 12th place in the first round and he finished one place off the finals in 11th overall. His European ranking goes up to 16th.
Kitty Wallace in Youth A knew that a very light training regime this year, due to injury, was going to leave her with a challenge. In the event she performed admirably to make her final and take 10th place. She is currently ranked 7th.
The Youth B girls, Molly Thompson Smith and Tara Hayes, continued their powerful run of form. Molly, on her way to her first final, topped their first qualifier, shared with the girls’ Youth A, Kitty’s group, with ease. Both girls were 10th = in the second qualifier. In the final Molly was 11th of 13 to qualify. Tara’s 16th place in the first round gave her an overall 16th place finish.
Despite that Tara still has a top 10 ranking, at 9th. Molly’s ranking went up to 11th. Both girls are in the younger half of the two year age bracket for their group.
The team of six travel to Imst in Austria for the next European round this coming weekend (August 12-14) and the World Youth Championships there at the end of the month (August 25–28). Four of them, Ed, Kitty, Buster and Molly, will be hoping to emulate Ed’s Bulgaria success by cranking their way up Zillertal routes between competitions.
The GB junior team is sponsored by Mountain Hardwear and theepicentre.co.uk.
Full results here on the IFSC website
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