He may have relinquished his climbing title but Billy Ridal is still looking up after placing third at BUCS Nationals in Sheffield.
The Selston climber stood at the top of the podium in the previous two years but had to settle for bronze after completing just two of the four final climbs.
Fellow Sheffield Hallam student James Pope took the top spot but Ridal was still pleased to be on the podium for a third straight year.
He said: “It was really good fun this year, we have so many great people coming through all of the time and it seems like the standard is just going higher and higher.
“I’ve come here for a third time and I’m still getting pushed. It’s great to compete against the best people in the country.
“I’m happy with finishing third in the individual and it’s great to win the team event with my university. It means a lot to us to get that victory.”
This year saw BUCS Nationals return for its sixth year, bringing together individual BUCS Championship events which take place across Sheffield.
More than 500 officials and volunteers made the sport happen from 16th-18th February, with this the largest annual multi-sport event in the UK.
BUCS Nationals is one of the first climbing events of the season, explained Ridal, who is looking to take the positives from his performance.
He said: “This is the very first competition in the season so it starts to get going a bit more in March and April time.
“This is a first competition tester to see how you’ve coped with winter training and see what shape you’re in. For me it’s a big deal and doing it in my third year.
“It’s a big confidence boost. If you feel like you’ve done well at this competition it gives you an indication about where you are going.
“It’s nice to come to this competition and feel like you’re progressing well. There’s definitely positives to take even if I didn’t manage to get the victory.”
- BUCS Nationals powered by Muhdo is the largest annual multi-sport event in the UK, bringing the best of Britain’s university athletes together to compete across eight different sports in Sheffield. More info at bucs.org.uk and via #BUCSNationals.