© Sebastian Kuhn/ Drehmomente
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© Sebastian Kuhn/ Drehmomente
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11. Jun 2013

Ironman-distance World record holder has a hard day at the Challenge Kraichgau

Andreas Raelert: With a handicap to the finish line

Bad Schönborn. Andreas Raelert has not been able to defend his title at the Sparkasse Challenge Kraichgau. Three days after a dental surgery the world's fastest athlete on the Ironman distance experienced "a tough and disappointing day." He paid his full respect to the winners of the race, whose start had to be postponed due to worse weather conditions with cold and continuous rain and thunderstorms. "I congratulate the winners Boris Stein, Maik Petzold and Timo Bracht very much," the winner of the last two years said. Andreas Raelert already could feel during the swim that he had "caught anything else but a good day".

The defending champion had prepared very focused for the race in the Kraichgau. The Challenge and the related German middle-distance championship was an important race for Andreas Raelert – three weeks before his first big highlight of the season, the Ironman Austria. But then the German had a big dental issue: Shortly before his departure from his hometown Rostock to the race one a tooth broke, which necessitated a complicated dental treatment and finally a surgery. The advice of his doctor was not to start at the Challenge Kraichgau, but Andreas Raelert decided to give it a try on race morning. "From the beginning nothing worked out as I would have liked it," he said, "of course I am very disappointed. I had hoped that it could be a good day despite the surgery. You never know in sports - you always think something like: Maybe everything will be okay, even if there were non-optimal signs before."

Andreas Raelert came out of the water in 24:33 minutes. He was in fifth position after the swim of 1.9 kilometers. But on the challenging 90-kilometer bike course the 36-year old was missing the necessary power to show a strong performance as he had done in the past two years. "I can’t remember that I have experienced one bad day like that in recent years", he said. Nevertheless, he decided to bring the race to an end – like the other 3500 participants of the Challenge Kraichgau. "We all share the same passion," Andreas Raelert said, "I wanted to finish, even if I've been faster than this in some of my workouts." Andreas Raelert finished in 4:28:03 hours in 21st position.

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