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Gstaad gold medallists eyeing more glory

Ilka Semmler was all smiles are she and Katrin Holtwick rolled into the Stare Jablonki semifinals
August 22, 2014 – Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler have their eyes set on another set of gold medals after they reached the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam semifinals on Friday. 

The German duo beat Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) to set up a clash against another Brazilian side, Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes. Larissa and Talita defeated Spain’s Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez 2-0 (23-21, 21-16). 

The other semifinal is also between a Brazilian and German team; Taiana Lima and Fernanda Alves take on Laura Ludwig and Julia Sude. 

“We had a game against them in Long Beach and it was almost the other way around,” Holtwick said. “We really didn’t want to play like we did in Long Beach so we were on fire for this game. So it is great, another semifinal.”

Holtwick and Semmler enjoyed their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slam gold medals at the Gstaad Grand Slam in July and since they competed at The Hague, Long Beach and Klagenfurt Grand Slams, adding silver in the Dutch capital.

They have also been home in Germany where they won silver at the Kuhlungsborn German Tour event.

“Since then (Gstaad) we’ve played a lot of tournaments and travelled around the world,” Semmler said. “It was really exhausting, but the last two weeks were quiet for us as we were in Germany and we had a stop in Germany and we had the chance to rest and recover and train. 

“It was important to have time to train and now we are back and focused and aiming to win.”

Lima and Fernanda enjoying early days together

Fernanda and Lima set up a clash against Ludwig and Sude after they won 2-0 (21-13, 21-18) against the Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova. 

Ludwig and Sude meanwhile beat Canada’s Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan 2-1 (21-15, 21-23, 15-10).

“They are a very good team and we have a lot of respect for them,” Fernanda said. “They have had a lot of good results this year and have played together a long time. We played very well and did what we said what we wanted to do.”

The pair are also aiming for a second gold of the season after they won the Hague Grand Slam gold medals in only their second tournament together. 

Fernanda is in only her second year as a beach volleyball player having switched over from volleyball. She made her World Tour debut at the 2013 Anapa Open alongside Maria Elize and they played four tournaments together before she linked up with Lima. 

“I hope that we have the second one here,” Fernanda said. “Taiana helps me because she is such a good player and it is easy to play next to her. I think day after day we are getting better with practice and games. We just want to get better.” 

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