Walsh and May-Treanor getting back into the old routine in bid for fourth world title.
In between winning all three games at the FIVB Swatch World Championships Rome 2011 powered by smart, Kerri Walsh has been passing on tips to young players.
Rome, Italy, June 15 – Three time world champions Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor may have been out of the sport for two years, but they showed they still retained their familiar fight and skill on the court to finish the pool stage unbeaten.
The US pair beat Italians Laura Giombini and Valeria Rosso as well as two Czech Republic pairings in Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova and Sona Novakova and Tereza Tobiasova to move seamlessly into the round of 32 of the FIVB Swatch World Championships Rome 2011 powered by smart.
“This is our second day of competition and pool play is over,” Walsh said. “We had a good pool and it was good preparation for these elimination rounds. Our best volleyball is yet to come and we haven’t really hit our stride yet. We’re working really hard to get to that point.”
After winning their second Olympic Games gold medal at Beijing 2008 the pair took a two-year sabbatical from the sport during which Walsh gave birth to two sons.
The Chinese capital was recently the scene of their first FIVB Swatch World Tour victory since returning, when they won the Beijing Grand Slam.
In Walsh and May-Treanor’s absence fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross took the 2009 world crown to end a run of three straight wins.
“It was great, but that was last weekend and this is this week,” Walsh said. “There were a lot of upsets last weekend and this is the World Champs so there are a lot of hungry teams out there, us being one of them.
“But it felt good to win as it has been a long time since Misty and I have won together, especially on this tour. We’re very happy and grateful, but we’re focused on this event here.
"Our goal leading up to London was to win the World Champs. Single elimination starts tomorrow, it’s exciting. April and Jennifer won last time round and we want to take our title back.”
While Walsh has had to return to her best shape following child birth, May-Treanor has had to battle back after major injuries to her Achilles tendon and knee.
Despite the hurdles Walsh and May-Treanor have to overcome, they remain confident that they have it in them to win their third consecutive Olympic gold at London 2012.
“We’re in the thick of it,” Walsh said. “Our goal is to improve every single weekend. We want to win every time we step on the court and we’ve done a fairly good job of that.
“We’re just a little bit up and down. We pride ourselves on having a very consistent level and we’ve yet to achieve that, but we’re getting there. London is a dream of mine, I want to win as a mum, I want to win it for a third time with Misty and it is all possible, so this is a big step toward that.”