Lausanne, Switzerland, February 23, 2018 – Olympic and world champion Kira Walkenhorst is not rushing her recovery from shoulder surgery as she gears up for her return to competitive action on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
The German underwent surgery on a troublesome shoulder earlier in the year, and is still undergoing checks before she receives the all-clear to return to competitive action.
One thing that is certain is that she will play with a new partner in 2018 while Ludwig gives birth to her first baby.
“I’ve got some names in my head but I’ve not spoken to anyone yet so I can’t reveal who,” Kira said in an interview with https://beachmajorseries.com/
“But I don’t really know what the plan for this season is yet – it depends on how the shoulder recovers. I have to go back to the doctor in three weeks to check how it is before I can think about practising and playing again.”
Walkenhorst will not play at the 5-Star Fort Lauderdale Major, a tournament that Ludwig missed in 2017 when Walkenhorst played with Julia Grossner.
Infact she is so focused on making a full recovery from surgery that there is the possibility that she may not feature at all in 2018, and instead focus on being in the best shape possible for 2019.
“If I’m fit I’ll play later in the season, but if it’s not right I’m not risking anything,” the 27-year-old said. “If I decide to miss a year then that’s what I’ll do. I can always train hard this year and approach 2019 fresh.”
While Walkenhorst has been working on her rehabilitation, Ludwig has been training in Tenerife and also made a trip to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games as part of the German Olympic Committee delegation.
Having won gold at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, the Austria 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, and the Hamburg 2017 Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals, 2019 will give the pair the chance to retain their world title in front of their home crowd when Hamburg hosts the World Championships.
“Can you imagine how big the atmosphere, with all of those fans, would be?” Walkenhorst said.
“In Hamburg and Vienna the fans showed that interest in beach volleyball is getting bigger and bigger. They were both really amazing tournaments last year.”
While Walkenhorst continues her recovery, the German Volleyball Federation has announced a nine-city Beach Tour for 2018.
Dusseldorf becomes a host city for the first time, while the Tour returns to Leipzig and Zinnowitz. It begins in June in Munster and concludes in Timmendorfer Strand in August.
German Beach Tour 2018
June 8-10 Munster
June 15-17 Dresden
June 22-24 Dusseldorf
June 29-July 1 Nurnberg
July 13-15 Kuhlungsborn
July 20-22 St. Peter-Ording
July 27-29 Leipzig
August 10-12 Zinnowitz
August 30-Sept 2 Timmendorfer Strand