13.05.2019 - Hamburg, Germany.
Reigning Olympic and World champion Laura Ludwig is among the star players to have been handed a wildcard by the FIVB for this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect & ALDI Nord.
German golden girl Ludwig, together with new teammate Maggie Kozuch, will aim to defend the World title on home sand two years after the 33-year-old triumphed in Vienna with Kira Walkenhorst.
The duo are one of two German women’s teams to be awarded a wildcard by the FIVB for the one million US Dollar event where the beach elite will compete between June 28 and July 7. Joining the experienced Ludwig and Kozuch are rising stars Leonie Körtzinger, 22, and 23-year-old Sarah Schneider.
The third women’s wildcard went to beach legend and three-time Olympic and World champion Kerri Walsh Jennings and teammate Brooke Sweat. 40-year-old American Walsh Jennings, who won three World Championship titles in a row between 2003 and 2007, missed the 2017 in Austria event through injury.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side, two German men’s teams have guaranteed their place inside the Rothenbaum stadium at their home World Championships with a wildcard.
Yannick Harms and Philipp-Arne Bergmann and Sven Winter and Alexander Walkenhorst – brother of Kira – will take on the best beach volleyball athletes and will benefit from experiencing the goosebumps of a passionate German crowd.
Completing the line-up of wildcards chosen by the FIVB are Italian pairing of Alex Ranghieri and Marco Caminati. The FIVB World Tour regulars have enjoyed a steady run of form in the past two seasons, including a number of top 10 finishes.
The FIVB’s six wildcards will join the 42 other qualifiers per gender from around the world for the summer spectacular which kicks off on June 28. Each team will find out their pool play opponents when the Drawing of Lots takes place in the Hamburg Rathaus on June 4.