Brink hopeful of 2013 return as Germany's golden pair celebrate London anniversary
Berlin, Germany, August 10, 2013 – A year ago to the day Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann woke up in their beds at the London 2012 Olympic Village with something extra to put in their baggage for their journey home – Olympic gold medals.
Life post-London has taken the pair in different directions. Reckermann retired and has combined completing his teaching degree with work for Germany’ Sky Television. Brink meanwhile began a new partnership with Sebastian Fuchs. However, he has been plagued with injuries and last competed at the Corrientes Grand Slam in May.
The 31-year-old had hoped to be back for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, but his ongoing thigh problems ruled him out once again. However, he is hopeful of returning to competition in 2013, but is refusing to say when or where.
“It has been a serious injury and didn’t face it like that at the beginning,” he said. “I thought it was a small rupture and thought ‘give me four weeks and I’ll be back’, but it is taking a longer time. It is not that mysterious and dangerous, it needs to have a serious treatment and serious period away from full training and full playing.
“I won’t say when I will be fit. I will be fit and as soon as it comes I will announce it. I’ll try my very best to be back this year, but I cannot say which tournament that will be.”
Brink and Reckermann’s gold medal success has been the highest point of a period in which German teams have enjoyed a run of success in international tournaments.
World Championships medals
Karla Borger and Britta Buthe won silver at the 2013 World Championships, while Kay Matysik and Jonathan Erdmann succeeded Brink and Reckermann as bronze medal winners. Victoria Bieneck and Isabell Schneider won gold at the inaugural FIVB U23 World Championships and Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst returned from the recent CEV European Beach Volleyball World Championships with the bronze medals.
It is success that doesn’t surprise the pair and something that they feel has been a long time in coming for the German Federation.
“We always had a good national tour. It is very important for the younger players that they have good competitions and get experience,” Reckermann said. “Germany has always had good teams, good coaches and good structure and the Federation support young players early in their careers.
“Now maybe it is payback time and we get some success back. It starts with the youth and I don’t think it is a coincidence that two teams won medals at the World Championships. We are continuing to improve and I think Germany is now the third best beach volleyball country in the world.”
In the Olympic final Brink and Reckermann beat 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball world champions Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego 2-1 (23-21, 21-16, 16-14). It was a merited victory and while Reckermann dominated his opponents at the net, Brink swept up anything that got past his teammate.
Their gold medal was one of 11 that Germany won in London and since returning from the 2012 Olympics the 2009 world champions have found themselves in much demand from press and fans alike.
“The day after started right after the ceremony, there were lots of media requests,” Brink said. “We’ve never had such a big achievement before in our career and that overrode everything we had enjoyed winning in the years before. I just know we went back to the Olympic village and did some television shows.
“It is not a life like a superstar or a life like a soccer player, but it is definitely a wider bunch of people who recognise you when you are not dressed like a beach volleyball player.”