Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 5, 2011 – The immediate goal for Austrian duo Sara Montagnolli and Barbara Hansel may be the Brasilia Open, the first event on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour, yet their focus extends beyond that to two greater targets – a top-five finish on this year's circuit, and a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Montagnolli and Hansel have spent the last few weeks in Rio de Janeiro preparing for the Brasilia event beginning on April 17 and, in an interview with sportlive.at, the pair – who finished 10th on last year’s tour – said they were feeling better than ever ahead of the new campaign.
"We're blending more in the third year since we've been reunited [they played together in 2003 and 2004, then got back together in 2009] and are both looking forward to the 2011 season," Hansel said. "We hope to do well at the World Championships in June [in Italy] and the ultimate goal is, of course, the London 2012 Olympics."
Partner Montagnolli agreed, adding: "We are motivated to use our time for intensive training and to return in even better shape. We have made good progress in Rio and in the training games we've performed very well. Now we want to compete in the Olympic Games and advance further in the rankings. Maybe we could make it into the top five."