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February 18, 2014

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Tower climbers had 6-month plan

The two men who hit the headlines recently after filming themselves atop Shanghai Tower said they feared they might never be able to enter China again.

Vitaly Raskalov, from Ukraine, and Vadim Makhorov, from Russia, said in an interview on the That’s Online website that they remained in the country for two days after scaling China’s tallest building due to the massive online response to their photographs and videos.

Though neither man has revealed his true identity, both were aware their antics had upset the local authorities.

“We took a risk there,” Raskalov said. “The government sent a message to the Russian Embassy asking for our real names.”

Raskalov said they were “really surprised” at the lack of security at the tower.

“But we knew about Chinese New Year. We knew that nobody would be working,” he said.

After climbing the stairs to the top of the 632-meter, 121-story structure, the pair scaled a construction crane without safety gear, taking pictures and shooting video as they went.

As a result of their exploits, security at other skyscrapers in the city has been tightened, with property management departments urging their security staff to keep a close watch for potential copycats.

Raskalov said they had been planning the climb for six months.

After flying to Hong Kong they traveled to Guangzhou two weeks later and then to Shanghai where they waited for the Chinese New Year holiday.

When asked how he felt at the top of the tower, Raskalov said: “Free.”

Since the climb, he has been receiving up to 50 e-mails an hour from people telling him how amazed they were at his achievements, he said.

Even his parents described his climb to the top of Shanghai Tower as “awesome.”

But he said he and Makhorov were used to being the center of attention after they shot to fame for climbing to the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The two men are planning to scale lots more skyscrapers, in Japan, South Korea, the United States and Australia, he said.

“We’re always looking to go to the next high point, and see things that no one else ever gets to see,” he said.



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