Beach Pro Tour - News


World Championship bronze medallists Tillmann and Müller are part of the German national team

With the 2023 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour beginning next week, the German Volleyball Federation has announced which beach volleyball duos will receive support as part of the country’s national team in the upcoming international season.

The seven teams selected – four women's, and three men's – will represent the German Federation and the country’s Olympic Committee during the qualification process for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Three of the four women’s duos are relatively new partnerships. The only exception is the team formed by Cinja Tillmann and Svenja Müller, who have been partners since 2021.

Tillmann and Müller were the most successful German team in the 2022 season, when they took bronze at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and won the Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event held in Ostrava. They were also nominated by the German Federation as the country’s ‘Olympic Team’ and will receive additional funding from the country's Olympic Committee.

Rio 2016 Olympic champion Laura Ludwig and former indoor star Louisa Lippmann form another of the four women’s teams selected. Ludwig missed most of last season as she was on a baby break. The pair made their only appearance as partners last November, when they finished ninth at an Elite16 tournament held in Cape Town.

Tokyo Olympians Julia Sude and Karla Borger also remain with the national team, but will be with different partners after their recent split. The two ended the 2022 season with their new partners; Sude and Isabel Schneider won gold at the Dubai Challenge in their second event as teammates, while Borger and Sandra Ittlinger finished ninth at their only appearance together, at the Paris Elite16.

Clemens Wickler, a Tokyo Olympian, and Nils Ehlers will lead the German men’s national team in 2023. The pair had a promising first season as partners in 2022, winning bronze at both the Hamburg Elite16 event and the Kuşadası Challenge tournament.

Robin Sowa/Lukas Pfretzschner, for whom a fifth-place finish at the Gstaad Elite16 was their best result in 2022, and Sven Winter/Paul Henning, who were 19th at the Dubai Challenge, are the other two men’s duos selected.

“Our focus is on having the most success possible during the Olympic qualification process and then having good results at the Paris 2024 Games,” Julia Frauendorf, a member of the German Federation board, explained. “We wanted to give our athletes the best possible starting position for 2023 and we decided to be very broad with the selection. We’ll have a stronger focus on individual teams later in the qualification process and are also working to identify and develop talent for the 2028 and 2032 Games.”

In addition to the seven teams selected, women’s players Anna-Lena Grune, Sarah Schulz and Kim van de Velde and men’s athletes Philipp Huster, Simon Pfretzschner and Benedikt Sagstetter will be supported and could be moved up to the main squad during the season.

Tillmann and Müller will be the first to play in 2023 as the two are entered to compete in this week’s Beach Pro Tour Finals in Doha. Sude/Schneider, Borger/Ittlinger and Wicker/Ehlers are all set to appear at the Elite16 event that will take place in the Qatari capital in the first week of February.