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2018-08-17 17:03:00 CET

Laura & Kira aiming for Fort Lauderdale return

Olympic and World champs eyeing Florida comeback

Kira (left) and Laura celebrate their World Tour Finals title last yearKira (left) and Laura celebrate their World Tour Finals title last year

Reigning Olympic and World Champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst are hoping to make their comeback to the sand at the Fort Lauderdale Major in February.

The German heroes paid a visit to the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone to explain to the media their latest news.

Laura and Kira have won the last two World Tour Finals events, including here in Hamburg 12 months ago.

But with Kira slowly returning to action on the German National Tour this season, and Laura beginning her return after giving birth to baby Teo at the end of June, the duo are eyeing their return to the beach elite early next year.

“February is in my head,” Laura said on the two-year anniversary that she and Kira won Olympic gold in Rio. “We have a lot of tours and many things to do between now and then.”

Kira added: “Fort Lauderdale is the plan right now, we’ve not spoken fully about when we will start practicing again but we want to play in February.”

For now Laura has a more important task on her hands, rather than thinking about beach volleyball…

“I’m really good but I have another job right now!” she laughed. “Being a mum is the best experience of my life. Every day is different, every day there is development, and I can’t imagine practicing at the moment because every day is full with Teo. It’s a 24/7 job.

“It’s a week by week, month by month thing at the moment. We said we would have three months together with Teo without worrying about beach volleyball before we see what happens next.”

Kira has been keeping up her match fitness by playing regularly on the German National Tour.

During her time back on the sand she has been testing out her defensive skills with youngster Leonie Körtzinger.

However, Kira can’t wait to be beside Laura again on the court – but in her usual place at the net.

“I like to try new things but when Laura comes back I’m looking forward to being in my old position!” smiled Walkenhorst. “I’ve been trying defending on the left side, but I’m happy to switch back. It’s been fun; sometimes it’s been good, sometimes it’s been really bad! However, I think it’s something that can help us as a team going forward in the next years.”

The duo have witnessed a number of matches inside the Red Bull Beach Arena and Laura admitted she is missing being out on the sand.

“It was good to have a break, the last five years have been really intense and exhausting,” says the defender. “But for sure I miss beach volleyball. The passion is still there, the atmosphere on the center court is amazing, I love it – but being a spectator is also cool.”

Fingers crossed we see you on Fort Lauderdale Beach, girls!

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