Ts.Anar: I was relieved only after getting my medal

  • By chagy5
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  • 2024-05-15
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Ts.Anar: I was relieved only after getting my medal

Ts.Anar, an athlete of the Summit Mountaineering & Climbing club of the Mongolian National Climbing Federation, and a student of “Etugen” University, has been climbing the rock and ice, and doing this type of sport since she was a child. She started her sports career by competing in major national competitions, improving her skills year by year. In 2018, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a champion and ranked among the best in the country. Ts.Anar has won five national titles, and now she represents Mongolia and competes in world competitions. For her, 2023 was a year of sharpening in all aspects, reminding that she was one step closer to becoming a world medalist. She missed out on a medal at the UIAA (the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) Ice Climbing World Youth Championship in Oulu, Finland. This time, when the competition was held in France, she won a bronze medal in the speed category and raised the flag of Mongolia.


It’s getting warmer and the season for sports climbing has started. How much time do you have besides your work and studies?


After participating in the UIAA 2024 Ice Climbing World Youth Championship and Continental Championship in France, I focused on my work and studies. I am currently studying at “Etugen” University’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences. Since sport and mountain climbing are not very developed in Mongolia, I intend to study IT engineering abroad. I want to train in a country where this sport is highly developed and improve my skills and achievements. For me, the spring season is simple: work and school. But in the summer, when I go out for the fresh air in the countryside and prepare for rock climbing, the days pass quickly.


This year’s National Championship of Ice Climbing was more competitive than ever. New acquaintances competed in the amateur category, which attracted the attention of the audience.


Many people participated in the championship organized last January, which made the competition even more interesting. When people were walking in the National Park in winter, they saw the wall and wanted to participate in the competition. They asked the organizers, “Would it be necessary to have a master’s title to compete in the national championship? Are we able to participate?” Therefore, I liked the addition of the amateur category to the championship. As far as I can see, it has been noticed that people under 40 years old were more interested. Many of them train in a combination of speed, technique and bouldering on a 15-meter-high wall that meets international standards and built in the hall of the sports complex located next to the “Dunjingarav” shopping center. In our country, people of any age can practice sport climbing. The experts who are developing it have released a new package so that people can install the app on their phones and order or get training time whenever they want.


2024 was a great year for you and N.Selenge from the female ice climbing athletes who achieved their goals. 


Absolutely. She cried after losing to her opponents at the UIAA Ice Climbing World Championship 2023 held in South Korea, but won a bronze medal at the UIAA Ice Climbing World Championship held in Canada. I missed out on a medal at last year’s World Championship. However, this time when I went to France with my teammates, I set a goal of getting in the first three places. I am very grateful that I fulfilled my wish and came home with a bronze medal. Having seen the mistakes she made in the World Championship, we also learned and gained experience and tried to participate successfully in the World Championship.


How did you go to France? How pleasant was the first day?


When I went to France, the weather was warm. It was very interesting to see the snow storm at the top of the mountain and the rain at the foot. There, people of every age go skiing and snowboarding and make the most of their vacations at the ski resort. Our combination of training and competition before visiting the country has paid off. It was noticed that the mentality of the athletes was different from before when they trained after the national championship and the city championship.


Athletes need research. Who among your competitors did you study the most before the World Championship? 


Liechtenstein athlete Lorena Beck was my strongest competitor. I have observed her climbing techniques and training. We belong to the same generation and are the same age. She won last year’s World Championship in Finland. If you look at her records after that, she participated in every organized competition without skipping a beat. This year she came to France and took the lead again, becoming a double world champion. The Swiss athlete who competed with Lorena Beck for first place took a silver medal. Liechtenstein has a population of over 39,000 and is located in Central Europe and the Alps. Geographically, it is suitable for winter sports thanks to its high and majestic mountains. During the study, I learned that the state provides training facilities and supports its athletes in every way. Athletes promote their country in every competition they participate in.


Athletes from Liechtenstein looked tall and fit. Have you made friends with them?


They know how we competed in the World Championship last year, so they said, “This time you are participating in recovery. Let’s take a look at your training wall”. When I showed a picture of the eight-meter wall built in the National Park, they laughed, saying, “You guys train on such a wall, but can climb so well”.


You must have felt the difference of the wall when climbing. Speed ​​testing at 15 meters is very different from training at eight meters.


I felt the wall and climbed it, but I did not have the same speed and power as my competitors. After the competition, I found out that there was a difference in the height of the wall. We reached the side of the 15-meter-high wall, and we were exhausted. In Mongolia, we used to use our speed and power on four meters of an eight-meter wall, and that way we lost calculation. I also realized that this kind of training has a negative effect on success. I understand well that for next year’s competition, I have to double my physical training. 


How warmly were the Mongolian athletes welcomed this time?


At last year’s World Championship in Finland, foreign athletes did not go beyond greeting us. But when we went to France as a group, we were warmly welcomed as if we were meeting close friends. This time, we got to know the team of the host country and shared a lot of information. When I participated in the World Championship for the first time, I was competing with the idea of ​​gaining experience and seeing the whole process through the eyes of a spectator. So this year, I went with the goal of winning a medal. The European Championship starts the day after the Ice Climbing World Championship ends. In the youth World Championship, up to 19-year-olds participate, while in the European World Championship, all ages can participate. We participated in the technical category but did not succeed. This is due to the fact that our country does not have technical climbing walls. Climbers from Liechtenstein, Japan and France took the lead in the category. To tell the truth, it has been noticed that Mongolian athletes are lagging far behind the participants of other countries in that category.


It seems that Mongolians even wrote encouraging comments to support their athletes during the World Championship.


France is six hours behind us. When the competition started at night Mongolian time, people were interested and watching without sleeping. They advised, “Participate after being in a warm place so you don’t get cold. Warm up well”. My family's advice was also seen in the comments. Seeing our compatriots give up their sleep and support us, we also had the courage to compete successfully. When we got off the plane, it was exciting to see many people come to congratulate us.


Were you nervous and a bit confused until the judges announced the results of the competition?


There is no need to think about many things and worry yourself on the days of the competition. I get more nervous when I think, “Can I do it?” Even though I knew that I had met the conditions for the medal, I was very worried. When the award ceremony started, I wondered “What happened? How did the judges evaluate and make the results?” Only after I got to the podium and put on my medal, I felt relieved. At that time, I thought, “I have accomplished my work and my goal”.  Every time I compete, I try to learn from the strengths of my competitors. The Swiss people climbed slower. When I climbed for 20 seconds, he climbed for 50 seconds. The athletes had no idea that he would finish in the first two places, having seen his calm climb. In the race for a medal, he showed more speed and power than before in his last climb. He made sure to secure his tools in the ice of the wall and climbed up. His calculations surprised many. The tactic was to rest yourself at the beginning of the race, climb without tiring, and show that you can’t press on the last part. I was disappointed last year when I lost to a 19-year-old competitor from Finland. I wondered how I would meet people who believed in me. However this time, I came home feeling proud and happy.


Have you exchanged any ideas and shared experiences with foreign athletes through Instagram?


Athletes participating in the World Championship put their training in their stories. We communicate more openly than last year. Recently, the team had an interesting conversation with the USA national team player Landers Gaydosh. When we did not participate in foreign competitions, we climbed with whatever tools we could find. Those are old models from a few years ago, so it’s heavy. At last year’s World Championship, I was envious of foreign athletes climbing with the latest designs of light and compact equipment. This year’s competition was different from the scheduled time of the brothers’ competition, therefore we used the instruments. Indonesian athletes may compete well in the sports climbing competition at the Paris Olympics. Among them, Leonardo Veddriq broke the world record. Also, athletes from South Korea, Japan, and Russia will show great competitiveness in technical, and bouldering categories, China and Iran in speed category.


I heard that you volunteer at the Nature Med Rehabilitation Center.


Yes. Many people in my organization like sports. We have the “Nature Med” volleyball club. The club’s athletes compete in the “National Premier League” every year. This year, they won the championship by beating the “Umnugovi Shankh Trans” team. When I came to Mongolia, I did not meet my colleagues, and suddenly I visited during Tsagaan Sar. Then my friends started shouting, “Hey, Anar has arrived”. They wore my medal from the World Championship and took a picture.


There is a special medal that gives energy to an athlete. Which award inspires you?


It is my World Championship bronze medal. My mother placed my medal in the back of our house. When her friends come, she will show it saying, “My daughter’s World Championship medal”. As for me, I dreamed for many years to wear a medal at the World Championship in the youth category. Next year, I will compete in the adult category. The responsibilities will increase more than before since I will be competing with the best. I qualified for the title of International Master. I have not received my license yet. The titles are officially awarded to the athletes after the State Committee for Physical Education and Sports holds a meeting.


Your family seems very keen on sports. I think that your brother influenced you a lot when you started this sport.


My brother Ts.Erinsanaa developed his hobby during many years of playing the sport and turned it into his job and life. He founded and operates the extreme travel company “79K travel”. He works as a tour guide, makes people do parachute and climb natural rocks. My younger brother Ts.Anand is a third-year student at “Etugen” University, studying in marketing and management. He plays in his university’s basketball team “Etugen”. There is a two year age gap between my younger brother and me, so I treat him like a peer. On the other hand, big brother is very honest. He does not praise or advise, but he conveys his thoughts in a few words. When I participated in the World Championship last year, he said, “You have to be in the top 10”. This year, “Don’t participate again if you don’t win a medal” seemed no different than giving a big task. Even when I went to France, I remembered my brother’s words, “Give up”. I even thought about it when climbing the competition wall. After winning the medal, he encouraged me by saying, “You can do it if you work hard”. Sometimes, sharp words are more memorable or valuable than someone’s compliment.