Beach volleyball player Thole / Wickler storm into the final after beating Norway
Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler stormed sensationally into the final at the home World Cup. In front of 12,000 fans, the youngsters beat top favorites Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway on Saturday after a setback still with 2: 1 (17:21, 21:17, 15:12). With a series of first-class serves defender Wickler ensured in the tiebreak for the decision.
In the final Thole / Wickler meet on Sunday (14.00 clock) on the Russians Vyacheslav Krasilnikow and Oleg Stoyanovsky, which are also surprisingly to the end here. The silver medal already has the current world ranking twelfth. It is the first World Cup medal for the German beach men for six years, when Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik won bronze.
Thole: "That's an incredible feeling"
"It's an incredible feeling, this World Cup is a huge success, and it's beyond words that we're a bigger factor," Thole said. His partner Wickler is "already proud" that a German men's team is playing for the title again. "The stability is impressive, and I have never seen it so constant over a long period of time," explained Brink, who was also Olympic champion in 2012 with Reckermann.
Despite some mistakes, Thole / Wickler have always kept cool against Mol / Serum, who had three wins and a second place on the world tour in the recent four tournaments, and returned at crucial moments. A few hours earlier they had turned off the experienced Americans Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser. Thole sensationally scored eight successful blocks.
Students rock beach volleyball World Cup
At the finals Jura-student Thole from Hamburg and BWL-student Wickler from Starnberg are on their way to inheriting the legacy of Brink / Reckermann. "It's all easy at the moment," Thole said. Somehow, the climbers come before the finale "already like in a fairy tale," said Wickler.
Behind the fairy-tale beach story, but above all, a long-term plan, hard work and a large staff. 16 months ago, Thole and Wickler, who were forcibly incorporated into a duo in the fall of 2017 by the German Volleyball Federation (DVV), still tormented by the sandboxes of the world. "It was very difficult at the beginning of last season, we started in about the 60th or 70th in the world," Wickler recalled.
High level in a surprisingly short time
Thole and Wickler quickly developed from beach rookies to a top team. The surprising fourth place last year at the World Tour Final in Hamburg was further proof of that. Since then both played consistently in the top ten. "It's surprising that they play so fast at such a level," said Brink.
Even the vanquished counterpart Dalhausser, as 2007 World Champion and 2008 Olympic champion a living beach legend, ennobled the young Germans. "They're 22 and 24. At that age, I did not even get my ass up," said the 39-year-old American, one of the most successful beach professionals ever.
The DVV relies on Thole / Wickler for the Olympic Games in one year. Especially since the German beach women chasing after the world's top. The team around the duo has been expanded: head coach Martin Olejnak and national coach Eric Koreng are training the team at the Olympic training center in Hamburg, and mentor Markus Diekmann is also involved. Since the beginning of the year, coach Jürgen Wagner has joined the team, making Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst (2016) and Brink / Reckermann Olympic champions.