2016-05-24 19:13:00 CET
Four German teams fight for two tickets to the Olympics
I’ve just hung up the dancing shoes. After comepeting on the German television show ‘dancing with the stars’, where I made it into the quarter finals I now focus on beach volleyball again. While I’ve been licking my wounds, the beach volleyball world is full of great news.
As soon as the qualifications for the Olympic Games entered the crucial phase recently, I once again remember why I love beach volleyball so much. Why? I’ll tell you…
Firstly, because Germany are going to send brilliant teams to the Rio Olympics to represent the country at the very highest level of beach volleyball. As soon as Jonas and I finished our career – way too early, by the way – we felt this outcry in the beach volleyball community. It was like ‘Damn, we finally gained some success and media attention but as soon as we have it it’s over again’.
It’s a pity that the media didn’t believe in the German teams to repeat that success, even though so many are playing successfully in tournaments. I personally believe that there is a high chance for our teams to score big in Rio, and that the media should focus on them now. To be at the center of attention by the media doesn’t mean you have to pose for Playboy magazine or star in a reality TV show like Dancing with the Stars…J
In my assessment, we are probably experiencing the most exciting Olympic qualification of all time. It’s happening on two different levels: on the one side there are the women with four possible teams to compete at the Olympics. No other nation other than Germany can boast such an army of strong teams. Laura and Kira nailed down their qualification last week already. No one doubted that, though, but I also think they can bring home a medal as well. Never have a German team – not even Jonas and I – gone into an Olympics with such high hopes of a medal. Although, perhaps Jonas and Markus did a little in 2004.
And the battles for ticket number two are just nailbiting. With only three tournaments left – Moscow Grand Slam, European Championship in Biel and the smart Major Hamburg, which kicks off the Swatch Major Series – it promises to be a thrilling fight every beach volleyball lover would love to see.
I can only congratulate Frank Mackerodt and his crew for teaming up with Hannes Jagerhofer’s Beach Majors GmbH to create an event that the sport of beach volleyball deserves. I know the Swatch Major Series very well and I can’t emphasize this enough: they are lifting the experience of the game for players, fans and media up to another level. The Smart Major Hamburg is going to be big!
When it comes to the whole setting of staging a beach volleyball tournament, the Swatch Major Series is the best and without a doubt. And Germany is going to be the first stop in about two weeks’ time. Having this event in my home country makes me really happy. Just imagining a direct match between Holtwick/Semmler and Borger/Büthe – who are both fighting for Olympic qualification points – is just fantastic.
On the other hand, the men are also battling for the last tickets for qualification. I wish they were spared from the detour to the Continental Cup. However, at the moment, both German men teams have barely enough qualificiation points. Two German teams in the tournament in Rio would be awesome. The injuries of Kay and Lars, as well as the missing success stories at the big tournaments (Grand Slams, Majors or World Championships) could make it a tough fight for qualification. The participation at the Continental Cup would be a big worry because it costs a lot of energy and nerves. Plus, who would participate as team GER 3 at the Continental Cup? There aren’t any men’s teams keeping up with the world elite at the moment. Unlike the women, the situation for the German men is a lack of world class teams beyond the two high-ranked German duos.
All assumptions aside, I wish for three tense weeks with thrilling matches and a showdown at the smart Major Hamburg.
See you soon there!
P.S.: Please don’t ask me what’s next after the Olympics! I’m scared…but that’s another topic for another day…