Beach veteran Eric Koreng starts all over again in Anapa
Together they finished 5th at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, won the Grand Slam in Stavanger in 2010 and collected four silver and three bronze medals on the World Tour.
But after Klemperer retired from beach volleyball at the end of 2012, Koreng had to start all over again. “David finished his studies. He is a businessman now, he has a job and he quit his beach career. So I had to find a new partner.”
Mismatch at the beginning of the season
Koreng first teamed up with Alexander Walkenhorst, Kira’s 24-year old brother, but it did not turn out to be a very good choice.
“We are both blockers, but we tried anyway because we really had a good German Championship, we finished as vice-champions. So after that we decided to play together, but in the end it did not work at all.”
“That’s why we split up and now we both have a defence player at our side again, so I am back at the block. And it works much better than at the beginning of the season.”
That new defence player at his side is 23-year old Finn Dittelbach, who made his World Tour debut this year. “It’s a special situation because during the season if you split up and have to find a new partner, you don’t have any preparation because during the winter you have to find your rhythm. So that is our goal for this season.”
Two straight wins
At the Anapa Open it looked like Koreng and Dittelbach didn’t need much time to find their rhythm. On Thursday they won both their pool matches 2-0, 21-16 24-22 against the Swiss Kissling brothers and 21-14 21-19 against USA’s Montgomery and Drost.
But according to Koreng their win over Switzerland was a bit lucky. “The side-out rhythm was not there at all. Especially in the second set, when we were behind six or seven points, but we had a nice fight back. A lucky win I think, because they made some mistakes in the end. But we had the will to win.”
For the Anapa Open the new pair did not set any goals. “We just have to see from game to game.” But his future goal is clear: the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. And if he has his way, with Dittelbach.
“I think this is a combination for the future. That is our plan. But at the moment we don’t have anything, we don’t have a coach, physio or sponsors. The plan is to play till the end of the season and then we have to sit down and we will have to see what we can do about a coach and staff.”
“But at the moment if you ask me, I will go for four more years. 32 sounds old, but I know a lot of players like the Brazilians or Americans that play for many years. I still have time to play.”