German championships: Hannah Meul and Yannick Nagel win

In the lead discipline, Hannah Maul prevailed as one of the favorites in an absolutely bravura manner. In the men's category, Yannick Nagel caused a big surprise with his success. Because after the semifinals there was little doubt that Yannick Flohé would win. However, the extremely difficult and demanding final route threw a spanner in the works.

At the latest in the semi-finals it was already apparent in what great form Hannah Meul and Yannick Flohe currently are. They were the only two who could top the rock-hard routes. And with that they realized what the route setter team wanted Christian Bindhammer had planned: one top per route, the competition well distributed over the rest of the route.

The others did the same favor. Really good ideas delivered Till von Bothmer and Lucia Doerffel ab: Both came within very few moves to the top. And just behind these two lined up Yannick Nagel and Martina Demmel a. These close results promised an exciting final – and that was to come. 

Yannick Flohé in the semifinals. Photo: Marco Kost
Yannick Flohé in the semifinals. Photo: Marco Kost

Tough men's final with big surprises

Right from the start it was unusual: the athletes were supposed to start inspecting the routes at 19 p.m. sharp. But that didn't work, because the lifting platform, which the route setters used to work on the wall, was on strike and could not be extended at all. The device finally moved to loud applause from the audience and the sporting part of the evening could start 15 minutes late.

Jan Hojer was the first to start. Many were excited to see his form after the Tokyo Olympian took a slightly longer break from competition. The first passages went well for him, but at 33+ it was a surprisingly early end, Hojer's disappointment was obvious.

"I never expected that. The route went really well for me."

Yannick Nagel

As the competition progressed, it turned out that the altitude wasn't so bad. Because of the following four climbers, only Linus Raatz at 39+ managed to get a few holds further. Only Yannick Nagel came significantly further than Hojer with 43+. However, it was not foreseeable that this amount would be enough for the title. How incredibly hard the route was was finally shown by Till von Bothmer, who also fell on the rope below Hojer's mark.

Now it was exciting to see how Yannick Flohé would manage the technically extremely difficult moves, especially in the middle section on an overhanging intersection. And then came the huge surprise: Flohé also slipped off the route below Hojer. And with that, a Yannick won the title, but not Flohé, but Nagel. "I never expected that," he said of the newly crowned German champions. "The route went really well for me."

Hannah Meul in the final route. Image: Marco Kost
Hannah Meul in the final route. Image: Marco Kost

Women's final: The dance to the title

The big question now was: Would the women have similar problems with the route? At least that's how it looked after the first two starters, Elisa Koppelmann and Emma Bernhard. Only the third starter, Anna-Lena Wolf, reached the upper part of the wall and the rating 30+ in the route characterized by flat holds. After her, Mia Guttenberger fell far down again.

Roxana Wienand delivered a great performance. With a rating of 33+, she initially took the lead in the field. However, the performance of Martina Demmel, last year's winner, was even better: She reached the top of the route and replaced Wienand with a rating of 38+ ​​at the top. Of course, nothing was decided yet, because the two best were still coming. First of all, Lucia Dörffel: She got along well with the route for a long time, but did not quite manage the height of Demmel.

Would the old one also be the new German champion? Only Hannah Meul could clarify this question. She climbed easily and confidently through the lower part of the wall. And through the middle one. And through en upper. It was only very shortly before the top that she flew off the route - so she secured the title. "It's a perfect end to the season," said the beaming winner. «Dancing one last time, it was so much fun!»

"It's the perfect end to the season. Dance one last time, it was so much fun."

Hannah Meul

The results in detail

37 women and 35 men started at the German Lead Climbing Championships in Neu-Ulm.  

The women's podium

  1. Hannah Meul
  2. Martina Demmel
  3. Lucia Doerffel

The men's podium

  1. Yannick Nagel
  2. Linus Raatz
  3. Jan Hojer

The complete result is there here.

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Cover picture: Marco Kost

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