A Hong Kong boulderer came 33rd at the International Federation of Sport Climbing World Cup in Ti’an China, but said he could have finished higher had he conserved his energy.

“I learned from the competition that it is important to grasp your chance every time,” Au Chi-fung said, “because having one attempt to reach the top can have a big effect later.”

Bouldering is climbing but at a low height so there are no ropes involved. Typically, each “problem” only requires a few moves, so climbers can be pushed technically without being affected by endurance.

“Problem three was hard because I had used all of my time on problem one and two,” Au said. “I hadn’t recovered the power to do the third problem.”

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The World Cup tours various countries, allowing competitors to accumulate points to win overall.

Au was disappointed because he aimed to finish in the top 30 or reach a semi-final. But it was a marked improvement from his 63rd place at the Chongqing leg earlier in May.

“I was not nervous as I have joined the World Cup many times,” he said. “I know if I can finish problem one I will gain confidence.”

The next leg is in Japan on June 2 and 3.