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2016-09-12 18:19:00 CET

More than sports: Stop at the top

Three German beach volleyball stars end their careers

The German girls are everywhere. This has been recent past in beach volleyball. What ever event you take this season, Poreč Major, FIVB Grand Slam Long Beach, Gstaad Major – there have hardly any time been eight German women, who fought each other for the medals in the end. When you look at the World Tour Ranking, you will find them at rank one to four.

At the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals it will be only the Olympic Champions Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst as well as Poreč Champions Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude playing for glory and honor. At Polson Pier, it relies to the fact that just two teams of each country are allowed to participate, but for the future, it might look the same.

Tears of joy and tears of melancholy for Katrin Holtwick (right) and Ilka Semmler. Credit: Pollex/HOCH ZWEITears of joy and tears of melancholy for Katrin Holtwick (right) and Ilka Semmler. Credit: Pollex/HOCH ZWEI

Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler will both end their career after 10 years together. The same applies to Britta Büthe, who played for the last seven years at the side of Karla Borger. During the German Championships last weekend – where Borger/Büthe won bronze – fans, families, coaches, players and officials said goodbye to the three remarkable athletes. “The organization should have distributed some rolls of paper towels in the stadium”, semifinalist Melanie Gernert said as the tears flowed uncontrollably from people’s eyes.

“It will be hard without Britta”

For Katrin, Ilka and Britta it has been tears of melancholy and tears of joy. All of them seemed very happy with their decisions. „My motivation is not high enough to start another Olympic cycle. That would not be fair to my partner and my team,” said Britta. “Stop at the top,” said Ilka, who finished seventh at her last German Championships, but played international one of her best seasons with Katrin. “It will be hard without Britta,” said Karla Borger, who played the last tournament without her Britta three years ago. It was just an injury of Britta, that made Karla team up with Julia Sude at the FIVB Grand Slam in Berlin. Some rumors suggest these two players would be a promising constellation for the future, but at the moment Sude and Laboureur are going through the roof.

Happy and sad after their last match together: Britta Büthe (left) and Karla Borger, Credit: Ninja Priesterjahn.Happy and sad after their last match together: Britta Büthe (left) and Karla Borger, Credit: Ninja Priesterjahn.

After missing the Olympic Games due to the county quota, they improved a lot and shot ahead. At the moment, they are the next best team after the outstanding Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst who defended their title at the German Championships this weekend. Each of us will definitely go for Tokyo 2020 during the next four years, but if together or not, we will decide after Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals,” Chantal said.

No matter how it turns out, the FIVB World Tour is losing two top level women’s teams, who brought a lot of quality, humor, joy and passion to international beach volleyball.

Chapeau, Britta, Ilka and Katrin – see you again.

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