FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Sao Paulo Grand Slam | 23 - 28 September 2014

#SaoPauloGS


Press release

Slow end doesn't dull Czech Republic's Slukova/Kolocova breakthrough year


Czech Republic's Kristyna Kolocova/Marketa Slukova have enjoyed a breakthrough season that ended early Friday in the round of 16 with a loss to Brazil's Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli at the FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam.

Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 26, 2014 - If you're going to have a breakthrough moment, it might as well be in your hometown, and that's what happened in 2014 for Prague residents Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova.

The Prague Open was the fourth event on the 2014 FIVB World Tour and, playing at home, the Czech Republic pair were seeded first and managed to deliver a first ever tour title in front of their home crowd, an achievement that left them both not only delighted but also speechless.

"I don't know what to say. It's home and it's gold, so this must be the best result in our career," said a slightly surprised Kolocova at the time, before being sure to thank the home crowd for the "incredible" support she felt had pushed them to victory.

Less than a month later in Berlin they proved the hometown win was no accident and, as ninth seeds, stepped on top of a FIVB Grand Slam podium with gold medals hanging around their necks. It was not only the very first time for them, but also for a women's team from the Czech Republic.

"I knew that we could do that," Slukova said. "I knew that when we play, we really do play well, but we hadn't always put it together. I was surprised it was that great, but I acutally hoped that our training, all the hours would finally show on the court."

Slukova said their improvement was the product of a lot of hard work away from competition and gives plenty of credit to their coach Simon Nausch for a breakthrough season that has had them consistently ranked among the top seeds in Grand Slam events.

"This season was great, but we have been working hard with our coach for five years already and this season it was finally working out in the game."

"Last season we had many close games but when it came to the money time, we always lost very close. This year I think we were much more consistent, we really believed in ourselves and we fought together, and that was the next step we made this season."

Their FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam ended in the second round of eliminations today against the tournament's top seeds, Juliana Felisberta/Maria Antonelli of Brazil, the same team they beat for their FIVB Grand Slam breakthrough in Berlin, but there was no repeat of the result that broughT their magic moment in Germany.

Defeat in Sao Paulo marks the end of a tiring season for the pair, but it doesn't mark the end of their journey as they look towards next year's World Championships in the Netherlands and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

"We have to keep on working hard," she said about life on the World Tour before letting her mind wander to the coming season. "We are all here because we want to be the best. It's really tough here, there's a lot of competition, so I'm glad that we have made a step, and now we are really very consistently in the top 10 (teams)."

"This will be our goal for next season; to stay there. Our coach always finds some stuff to improve, so I think we will just train a lot and hope that next season will also work out for us like this season did."

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