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Markus Bendler retires after Rabenstein and other highlights of the 2013 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour
28 Jan 2013
Rabenstein, the newest venue on the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour provided plenty of drama and memories for athletes and spectators.
It was the setting for the final climb of Markus Bendler of Austria, a perennial crowd favourite and former Lead champion who gave it his all to reach the final hold, but fell.
Markus Bendler on his final climb in Rabenstein (Photo: Lukasz Warzecha / UIAA)
“It was a great emotional finish for me,” said Bendler who placed fourth behind Tomilov, Park and Alexey Tomilov. “I’m glad about my success in this sport during the past 12 years. Ice Climbing opened a lot of doors for me and changed my life totally.”
Rainer called Bendler a great athlete, someone who she’s known since she started competing in the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup in 2006.
“Bendler won a lot of competitions over the last years and demonstrated technique and mental power,” said Rainer. “He was an important part of the World Cup. Now I wish him all the best for his future projects and I'm sure he will do well as all that he does with great determination.”
Speaking about her own top place finish, Rainer said winning at home was special and especially beautiful in front of family, friends and fans.
An emotional Angelika Rainer following her Lead climb in Rabenstein (Photo: Lukasz Warzecha / UIAA)
“I felt great pressure as everybody wanted and expected that I would win and being able to concentrate and climb freely was not so easy,” said Rainer last year’s overall women’s Lead champion. “But now I am happy. I think this was my most beautiful and maybe also hardest win.”
Another highlight of the tour that has included stops in Cheongsong, Korea and Saas Fee had to be the win in the men's Speed final by Dennis Van Hoek of the Netherlands.
Van Hoek, 25, who has been competing for seven years in the event said he has never given up and it felt especially good to beat out so many of the Russian climbers who have beaten him in previous years.
"It's good for the sport if many nationalities compete and that's why I've always kept competing," said Van Hoek. "For me speed climbing has always been a gambling game. You have to commit 100 per cent each time and there's always a big chance that you will fall."
Liudmila Badalyan in Rabenstein (Photo: Lukasz Warzecha / UIAA)
The 2013 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour now heads to Busteni, Romania and finally Kirov, Russia.
For pictures from Cheongsong, Saas Fee and Rabenstein please visit www.facebook.com/theuiaa
You can follow the tour at www.theuiaa.org/ice_climbing_2013 where you can find the lastest overall rankings of athletes.