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Flüggen and Walkenhorst upset world champions again

Germany's Lars Flüggen (photo) and Alexander Walkenhorst beat world champions Brouwer and Meeuwsen for the second time in a row
Moscow, Russia, August 23, 2013 – Germany’s Lars Flüggen and Alexander Walkenhorst are turning out to be the world champions’ nemesis. After defeating Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen at the European Championships in Klagenfurt a few weeks ago, the German team also upset the Dutch on the second day of pool play at the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam.

With one set down and leading 16-12 in the second, victory was within reach for Brouwer and Meeuwsen, but the Germans came back strong and turned the game around: 19-21 23-21 15-11.

“We were almost out in the second set, because they were leading 16-12”, Flüggen said. “But then we had some strong serving and got back in the game, continued in the third and ended on top.”

Swapping partners

Flüggen and Walkenhorst only teamed up a few weeks ago after their partnership with respectively Finn Dittelbach and Eric Koreng did not turn out to be what they expected. So the teams swapped partners.

In their first FIVB event together, the Anapa Open, Flüggen and Walkenhorst won silver straight away, there first medal ever. After 5th place at the European Championships they unfortunately missed out on the Berlin Grand Slam.

“We lost the country quota against Koreng and Dittelbach, our old partners. That was hard”, Walkenhorst said.

So they were happy to get into the Moscow Grand Slam and according to Flüggen they are in great form. “Last week we played in the German Tour, we had 3rd place. We lost against Dollinger/Windscheif but here we won against them. So we are going up step by step.”

The results so far are better than expected, Walkenhorst said after Thursday’s win over Dollinger and Windscheif and their second win on Friday.

Tough group

“We won both games against the top seeded in the group. We did not expect it, because we saw the draw and thought: this is a hard one. We got to win minimal won, maybe two. But now we already won two and maybe we can go for first place in the group. It’s perfect.”

In their short career Flüggen and Walkenhorst have already won a medal in Russia, the silver in Anapa. “I don’t think we can reach second place here, but maybe we can win the next game against Italy and then we are minimum 9th place and have a chance for 5th place. We just go on, there is nothing to lose for us. We will fight for each point and see what happens.”

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