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2017-05-05 16:22:00 CEST

Series stars eye perfect Poreč preparation

Olympic champions set for beach return

Last year’s heroes of the Swatch Major Series, Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, make their much anticipated return to the beach this weekend.

The duo, who scooped gold at the A1 Major Klagenfurt and Swatch World Tour Finals in Toronto either side of claiming Olympic gold in Rio, begin their preparation for the epic summer season on home sand in smart super cup in Münster.

Ludwig missed the Fort Lauderdale Major while she recovered from shoulder surgery but, following a successful 16 days of training alongside American star Kerri Walsh Jennings, the pair are set for the sand once again.

“We are fully on track,” the girls tell us. “Every single session put us forward a little more.”

We are back home but we will always keep with us the good work we got done in LA Thanks a lot to @idrillsvb @kerrileewalsh @coachgus_ and @spencejah14

1,378 Likes, 8 Comments - Laura Ludwig (@lauraludwig86) on Instagram: "We are back home but we will always keep with us the good work we got done in LA Thanks a lot to..."

Stiff competition

With the Poreč Major less than two months away, the stars of last season step-up their preparation with last year’s gold medalists in Croatia, Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude, also in action. The Fort Lauderdale bronze medalists will be joined in Münster by fellow Germans Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider and Karla Borger and Maggie Kozuch.

The Dutch also have high hopes of gaining confidence ahead of the summer with their strong men’s and women’s teams also on the sand this weekend. Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel and Xiamen champions Robert Meeuwsen and Alexander Brouwer are on the hunt for medals.

Injury and illness but the lion still roars… 

A number of teams, however, will be hoping for better luck between now and when the Poreč Major kicks-off. Czech duo Krystina Kolokova and Michala Kvapilova are out of action after Krystina contracted the flu in Xiamen, while German Olympian Lars Flüggen has a thigh injury.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Last season’s A1 Major Klagenfurt champions Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins are looking forward to testing themselves this weekend. The pair were knocked out of the Fort Lauderdale Major in the round of 24 but are aiming for another successful summer – starting in Poreč in seven weeks’ time. 

“We’re looking forward to checking how good we are,” Samoilovs told us. “After the winter and the off-season we’re hungry for victories.”

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