Frankfurt, Germany, December 29, 2016 – The German Volleyball Federation appointed well-renowned beach volleyball mentor Martin Olejnak as the new trainer of the men’s team starting January 2017, in hopes of following-up Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann’s gold medal finish at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The 46-year-old Slovakian is one of the most successful trainers in the beach circuit and was responsible for leading the Polish men’s pairs to the top of the ranks in the World Tour and in the Olympic Games.
Olejnak also led Schwaigers sisters Doris and Stefanie to the Olympic Games – Beijing 2008 and London 2012 – where the pair finished in fifth place on both editions.
“The commitment of Olejnak is a positive sign on our approach on the new structure to get the support of high-level coaches and the concentration of national teams at one location,” national federation president Thomas Krohne said. “Olejnak has proven for years that he is an absolute expert, and his teams have all gone to the top.”
“Olejnak’s experience and philosophy brings unparalleled quality,” national federation vice-president Dr. Andreas Kunkler added. “He was our best prospect and we are glad that we can have him in the new system.”
The new structure in beach volleyball provides that three national teams and one club per gender are centralised at a federal support centre to ensure a strong training group.
The Slovakian tactician is up for the challenge as he sees great potential in the younger generation of German beach volleyball players.
“German men’s teams have stayed a bit behind expectations in the past two years,” Olejnak said. “But there is a younger generation that has very good potential and they are willing to work hard. My goal is not only to be with two German teams at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I am looking forward to the new challenges in Germany. After all, this country has won gold twice in the Olympic Games.
After Brink/Reckermann’s gold medal triumph at London 2012, Germany was back on the top podium at Rio 2016, where women’s duo Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst defeated top favourites Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas of Brazil.