Vienna, Austria, July 26, 2017 - As Vienna gears up for the beginning of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships 2017 presented by A1 on Friday, Olympic champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst will be aiming to become the first women's team to top a podium at the sport's three most prestigous events - the Olympics, the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals and the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Ludwig and Walkenhorst have achieved the first two items in the beach volleyball triple crown by topping the podium at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the 2016 Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in Toronto, Canada.
Now to complete their ambitious goal, Ludwig and Walkenhorst must win the 2017 FIVB World Championships in Vienna. The Germans are seeded fourth in the competition and are hoping to return to health after missing several events due to injury.
Winners of seven FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medals last season, Ludwig and Walkenhorst will be playing in Pool D with two other German pairs in Vienna along with 45th-seeded African continental qualifiers Mahassine Siad/Imane Zeroual of Morocco. After playing the Moroccans on July 28, Ludwig and Walkenhorst will meet 28th-seeded compatriots Nadja Glenzke/Julia Grossner on July 29 and 21st-seeded German wild card entrants Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch.
"We'll be practising a lot," said the 31-year old Ludwig, who will be competing in her seventh FIVB World Championships. "We will be working on getting back our strength and will focus on us."
Ludwig's best finish in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships was a fifth in 2013 with Walkenhorst at Stare Jablonki, Poland, where the Germans were eliminated by eventual champions Chen Xue and Xi Zhang of China in the quarterfinals. In the 2015 worlds in the Netherlands, Ludwig and Walkenhorst won their first two pool matches over pairs from Costa Rica and Poland, but faltered in their last two contests against teams from the Slovakia and Russia to place 17th.