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European Athletics Championships: Ronaldo fan Bebendorf celebrates his hurdles medal

European Athletics Championships: Ronaldo fan Bebendorf celebrates his hurdles medal

There are also good runners from Germany over 3000 meters steeplechase. Like Gesa Felicitas Krause before him, Karl Bebendorf wins a European Championship medal. The Dresden native adores a soccer star.

7 is his lucky number and CR7 is his role model: On his way to his first international medal, hurdler Karl Bebendorf was also inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 39-year-old Portuguese football star, who also has a European Championship coming up, always wears the number 7. “I’ve always said I’m KB7. I only wear CR7 underpants,” Bebendorf revealed with a laugh after winning bronze at the European Athletics Championships in Rome.

The 28-year-old from Dresden thinks the goalscorer – who won the European Championship with the team in 2016 – is a great guy. “Simply because he’s already a certain age and is so determined, both as an entrepreneur, as a brand and as a person,” explained Bebendorf. But Ronaldo is also a great guy in terms of sport.

Olympic standard also beaten

Before paying homage to his role model, Bebendorf gave free rein to his exuberant joy with a bloodcurdling scream in the Olympic Stadium. Two years after finishing fifth at the European Championships in Munich, the hard work of the past paid off with a medal.

“Today is the day when I am allowed to shout such loud tones with the flag around my neck. I have worked tirelessly on it and always believed in it,” he said, after being very withdrawn before the race and also having quiet doubts in the team hotel.

German obstacle aces strong at European Championships

Bebendorf has continuously improved his time over the last five years to 8:14.41 minutes – even beating the Olympic standard, which fourth-placed Frederik Ruppert narrowly missed in 8:15.08 minutes.

“It was really close to getting a medal, very, very close to the standard. I could have been granted one,” said Ruppert, but was still happy about the top placing and the medal for his good friend Bebendorf. For the German champion, who will not defend his title at the end of the month, even the Frenchmen Alexis Miellet (8:14.01) and Djilali Bedrani (8:14.36) were within reach after a great final spurt.

After silver for Gesa Felicitas Krause and Lea Meyer and Olivia Gürth making it to the final, the German men also impressed in the 3000 meter steeplechase, with Velten Schneider also being the third DLV athlete to make it to the final. “There is hardly a discipline that is as popular in Germany as the steeplechase,” said Ruppert, who is close to taking part in the Olympics despite missing the standard via the complicated international ranking system.

Source: Stern

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