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Karla Borger in defence during the World Tour Finals in Cagliari

Karla Borger in defence during the World Tour Finals in Cagliari

Three women’s and three men’s pairs have been given the status of beach volleyball national team duos by the German national federation, which means they will be funded and managed by the DVV during the new Olympic cycle.

The current number 10s in the FIVB World Ranking, and FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals 2021 champions, Karla Borger and Julia Sude will continue playing together, training at the federal facility in Stuttgart. 33-year-old Borger is a two-time Olympian. She and 34-year-old Sude have been a pair since 2019. Last year they also took part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and finished third at the CEV European Championship in Vienna.

While the members of the second highest ranked German pair, Laura Ludwig and Margareta Kozuch, have taken a break, 30-year-old Isabel Schneider, a 2013 U23 world champion, and 27-year-old Sandra Ittlinger have joined forces to form a new tandem with the long-term goal of making it to Paris 2024. They have already made a successful international debut as a duo, winning the Queens of Doha crown at last month’s King of the Court Finals in the Qatari capital.

Cinja Tillmann and Svenja Muller are the third pair on the women’s national team. 30-year-old Tillman, a 2010 U20 European champion, and 20-year-old Muller, a 2018 U18 European champion, have been playing together since August and made their first two international appearances as a duo, earning a Brno 2-star bronze and an Itapema 4-star ninth-place finish.

Germany’s men’s national team will be headlined by Clemens Wickler, a 2013 U19 world champion, and Nils Ehlers, whose previous partners Julius Thole and Lars Fluggen, respectively, recently withdrew from professional beach volleyball. Fluggen and 28-year-old Ehlers are in position 14 in the current FIVB World Ranking, but fell short of making it to the Games in Tokyo. Thole and 26-year-old Wickler, however, played in the Japanese capital and reached the quarterfinals. In 2019, they claimed World Championship and World Tour Finals silver medals.

Lukas Pfretzschner and Robin Sowa, both 22 years old now, reunited in 2019, after winning the U18 European Championship title together back in 2016. In 2020, they earned their first World Tour medal, a Phnom Penh 2-star bronze. They will continue to look for more success on the upcoming Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour as one of the pairs on the men’s national team.

The team also includes the pairing of 23-year-old Sven Winter, a 2014 U18 continental champion and 2021 national champion, with 24-year-old fresh indoor-to-beach convert Paul Henning.

Apart from Borger and Sude, the remaining five national team duos will train in Hamburg.