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Heyer finishes on a high note

Heyer is retiring from competition after winning his seventh Swiss national title
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 10, 2012 - Sascha Heyer has put an exclamation point at the end of his long career, winning one last title in the Swiss championship alongside partner Sébastien Chevallier. The duo dominated Martin Laciga and Jonas Weingart in the final, taking two straight sets 21-18, 21-12.

It was Heyer’s seventh national title and Chevallier’s first. The 40-year-old Heyer is now retiring from competition.

In an interview with Berner Zeitung, he explained his decision: “My family really lies behind my decision to draw a line. I want to spend more time at home. This need cannot be combined with the demands of our sport. In winter, for instance, we simply cannot train outside, so we are forced to spend a month or two in the southern hemisphere away from home.”

Heyer stressed that he still loves the sport: “For 20 years I led a privileged life, could turn my hobby into a career and make a living. I do not know what it feels like to sit from Monday morning until Friday evening in an office chair – but I suppose I'll be able to tell you soon!”

In the women’s championship, Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré earned their first national title by beating Joana Heidrich and Romana Kayser 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 16-14), after having already knocked out the Olympic pair of Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr in the semifinals 2-1 (23-21, 18-21, 15-8).

Kuhn and Zumkehr settled for third place. Like Heyer, Kuhn announced that she would retire following the Swiss championships – a week after turning 32 and 12 years after her first appearance on the circuit.

Kuhn leaves the game as Switzerland’s most successful female beach volleyball player, and 2012 was her best year. She and Zumkehr took a grand slam title in Rome, along with a third-place finish in Gstaad and ninth at the London Olympics. Kuhn also has nine national titles, a medal of each colour from European championships and two previous Olympic appearances.

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