Volleyball Bach – Laura Ludwig writes the following fairy tale
The relief and cheer were huge. Olympic beach volleyball champion Laura Ludwig and Margarita Kosoc made their way to the quarter-finals with a powerful performance against the favorite Brazilian duo. Everything is possible now.
WHat they were upset in group matches, quarreling with themselves and their game, looking for their best in the sands of Tokyo. Beach volleyball queen Laura Ludwig and Margarita Kosoc did not present themselves in the form of a medal in the first matches. But now, when it came, they were at their best. And all the tension and doubt erupted in what seemed to be gold. “Now we feel great,” Ludwig said after moving into the quarter-finals. “We are proud of each other.”
With this game, they have impressively shown that the two can win a medal in Tokyo despite all the rollercoaster rides of the past two and a half years. Nothing but a higher level was enough that day, because their opponents in the Olympic Round of 16 were Brazilians Agatha/Duda. The Germans fought their opponents in three sentences. 2:1 (21:19, 19:21, 16:14) was the finale of a wonderful and encouraging victory. “We are impatient because we have had enough patience against such an opponent,” Ludwig says.
Your opponents in the next round won’t be decided until Monday morning (local time). If Ludwig/Kozuch can build on their performance in the overtime track to the championship and actually win a medal at the end of these Olympics, it would be the culmination of a difficult project that began in early 2019.
race against time
After Ludwig’s former partner, Kira Walkenhorst, had to end her career after years of success together at the end of 2018 due to health reasons, Ludwig set out to search. Not an easy task, as the two made their way to the best duo in the world, and after Olympic gold in 2016 they also celebrated the world title a year later.
In Margarita Kosoch, Ludwig found an experienced and outstanding player – but in the hall. The 336-times national player spent two years in the sand. It was a race against time — for several reasons: First, the two had to find each other as a team. Then Kozoch still had a lot to learn in the sand. In addition, Ludwig had just come from maternity leave, and had to struggle and juggle her new life as a high-performance athletic mother.
With the victory in the World Tour Final in Rome 2019 they have shown after many ups and downs what they can do together. In general, there was a lack of consistency. The pandemic with no competitions was, on the one hand, an opportunity due to the time gained, but on the other hand, they lacked the game play they so desperately needed. In Tokyo, Ludwig said after the opening defeat in the first group match: “The main thing is that we get as many matches as possible and we can learn.”
match point block
In the round of 16, the Brazilians were considered the favorites. Agatha Bednarczuk and Ludwig faced each other in the final five years ago in Rio. Bednarczuk is also competing in Tokyo with a new partner: Eduarda Santos Lisboa, better known as Duda. The two had a high-level fight right from the start. At 15:12, Kosoch/Ludwig took his first lead by three points. Ludwig used the third chance after a tactical break to win the set.
In the second set, Agatha/Duda withdrew by four points to 8:4, increasing the lead to five points before defense specialist Ludwig proved her world class level over and over again. However: the Brazilians achieved the group equation.
In the decisive third set, the Germans trailed 2:5, but fought their way back and later fought back on match point. “I am so proud of Laura that she pushed this ball out of somewhere and made it over the net,” Kozoch said. A mass of them finally brought the crucial point.
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