London, Great Britain, July 29, 2012 – With the 2009 FIVB Beach Volleyball gold medals already in their collection Jonas Reckermann and Julius Brink can lay claim to being Europe’s premier male team, something they confirmed at the start of 2012 when they won the European Championships in The Hague.
Now they have finally got their London 2012 Olympic Games campaign underway the aim is to match or improve on Jorge Ahmann and Axel Hager’s performance at Sydney 2000. Reckermann and Brink’s German compatriots were ranked 16th at the start of the tournament, but belied their low rank to leave Australia with the bronze medal after they had defeated Portugal’s Joao Brenha and Luis Maia.
“That did a lot for our sport,” Reckermann said. “When they won that medal there wasn’t much focus on the sport in Germany and this was the first time. It was a big moment at the time and now it should be time that Germany has another medal in beach volleyball.”
Despite retaining their continental crown, 2012 has been a season of highs and lows so far for a team that first paired up in 2009 and immediately went on to be crowned FIVB world champions in Stavanger.
Their appearance at the European Championships in June was their first of the year as a team. Since then they have played in three FIVB SWATCH World Tour events with their fourth place finish in Moscow their best result.
“We’ve done pretty well after a bad period,” Brink said. “Then we came back at the European Championship and I think winning the title was pretty impressive because we didn’t expect that at all.
“Then we went to Moscow and finished fourth and had a pretty close battle with Emanuel and Alison. It gave us the belief that we could play at that level.”
Their aim of winning medal remains on course after the duo got off to a winning start at Horse Guard’s Parade with a 21-19, 21-17 victory over Russian pair Konstantin Semenov and Serguei Prokopiev in their first match.
“We are happy we won the match and we think we played well,” Reckermann said.
“The first match is always difficult because everybody is waiting for that moment and for the match to start. But it is the first match of a tournament like any other and we stayed focused and it went pretty well. There are some things we can improve on, but we are pretty pleased we started with a 2-0.”
There was further good news for them with Reckermann reporting no ill effects of a shoulder injury that had previously ruled him out of seven months of competition earlier in the season.
“It’s ok, it’s not a problem at all,” he said. “I just have to take a little bit of care of it, but one match a day isn’t a problem at all.”
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|That did a lot for our sport. When they won that medal there wasn’t much focus on the sport in Germany and this was the first time. It was a big moment at the time and now it should be time that Germany has another medal in beach volleyball.|
FIVB 2011 Beach Volleyball World Championships, Rome - bronze medal
FIVB 2009 Beach Volleyball World Championships, Stavanger - gold medal
FIVB SWATCH World Tour - three golds
CEV European Championships - 2012, 2011 (gold)