Olympic champion back for Gstaad Grand Slam
Gstaad, Switzerland, July 9, 2013 – Triple Olympic champion Kerri Walsh is due to return to the court for the first time since the 2012 Stare Jablonki Grand Slam, when the Gstaad Grand Slam begins on Wednesday.
Walsh stepped away from playing to give birth to her third child after she and Misty May-Treanor had won their third consecutive Olympic title at the London 2012 Olympic Games. In Gstaad she will be playing alongside 2009 world champion and London 2012 silver medallist April Ross in a partnership that they intend to continue through to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
Ross’ usual partner Jennifer Kessy is out of action with hip and Achilles injuries, but they will be back together for the Long Beach Grand Slam that begins on July 22, before Ross goes fulltime with Walsh towards the end of the year.
Leading the men’s tournament are newly crowned men’s World Champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen, who triumphed at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013 last Sunday.
They have yet to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, but will be confident of doing so in Switzerland.
Their female counterparts Chen Xue and Zhang Xi are also set to compete in the Swiss Alps. They haven’t won a FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam since the 2012 Moscow Grand Slam, but with their new status as world champions injecting fresh confidence, they will be aiming to end their streak without a Grand Slam gold.
The Gstaad Grand Slam is the fifth Grand Slam of 10 on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The tournament begins with women’s qualifying on Tuesday 9 and ends with women’s and men’s medal matches on Sunday July 14.
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