Women's competition, Rhodes
From 19 May To 23 May 2004

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Popular Pottharst happy to be back
Rhodes, Greece, May 20, 2004 - Retirement didn't last long for Australian superstar Kerri-Ann Pottharst. Back in the big time of Beach Volleyball with new partner Summer Lochowiz, Kerri-Ann is determined to reach the Olympic Games in Athens and add to the gold medal she gained with Natalie Cook four years ago in a spectacular Sydney triumph. "We're in a slightly difficult position this time around in terms of qualifying," Pottharst stated at a Hellas Open press conference on Thursday. "It is very important for myself and Summer to finish as high up as possible here in Rhodes along with the rest of the season's tournaments in order to give ourselves the best opportunity of making it to the Olympics in Athens," she added.

Asked for her reasons for quitting the Beach Volleyball scene last year, the Australian legend stated, "I retired because I had played Volleyball and Beach Volleyball for Australia for 21 years and I think that that was enough. I was ready to start a family with my partner but unfortunately we finished our relationship and as I had nothing to do I started playing again! So here I am and I am now playing with a fantastic partner in Summer who has a lot of potential and who I believe is going to be one of the best players in the world."

When pressed as to why she didn't team-up with her previous long term playing partner, Natalie Cook, Pottharst joked, "Because she's too old for me," before going on to say,
"When I started playing again, Natalie had already created a fantastic partnership with Nicole Sanderson and that is a partnership that will continue on to Beijing. There was no reason to break up that partnership."

Reliving her past experience as a gold medalist on home soil in Sydney, Kerri-Ann had a few words of advice for the Greek teams who will take to the sand in Athens this summer, "When I first stepped out onto the sand in Sydney I wasn't prepared for it at all. It's something you have to try to imagine but until you do it you won't know what it feels like but i guess you should expect to be scared and to be nervous. You need to find a way and think of techniques now to deal with that and concentrate on playing with your partner and not with the crowd. When 10,000 people cheer you for a point it sounds very loud. The most important thing myself and Natalie had to think about was playing together and not with the crowd. When you win, that will be the most incredible experience of your whole life, doing it in front of your own country."