Germany reach semis of beach volleyball worlds

Germany's top beach volleyball pair are storming the world championships in Holland and prepare to face Brazil in the semis on Friday.

Germany reach semis of beach volleyball worlds
Ilka Semmler and Katrin Holtwick. Photo: DPA file

Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler were only ranked the fourth best German pair at the start on this tournament. Now they have risen into the top four pairs in the world, reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

A decisive 2-0 victory in the quarters over US pair Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat means the two students from Essen are now the only non-Brazilian team left in the tournament.

And it would seem the Germans have had luck in their draw. They will face Brazil's sixth best pair Taiana Lima and Fernanda Alves, ranked 31st in the world at the start of the tournament.

Semmler was clearly shocked by the quarter final victory.

“I can't believe it,” the two-time German champion told FAZ. “It was an awesome game. Semi-final – everything's going well.”

“Our game plan went perfectly, without compromise, throughout the entire match,” said trainer Tilo Backhaus.

Now they are head to The Hague trying to upset a Brazilian fiesta.

“We're not driving to The Hague to lose two matches. Of course we want a medal now,” Semmler said confidently.

The 31-year-old Holtwick reflected that “we won't compete in so many more world championships. We wanted to prove to ourselves that we could be at the top at this level of the game.”

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German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

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Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

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