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2017-06-30 16:09:00 CEST

Beach reunited friends at Poreč Major

Good friends Laura Ludwig and Maggie Kozuch join forces at the beach

German Olympic champion Laura Ludwig knew exactly who to call when she needed a partner after injury ruled out regular partner Kira Walkenhorst of the Poreč Major.

That person was good friend Maggie Kozuch – who has only just swapped the indoor game for the beach this season.

“We didn’t see each other for many years because Maggie was playing indoor and I was playing beach volleyball,” said Ludwig. “It was a pity we didn’t see as much of each other as we would have liked but it’s nice to have a meeting point in my sport.”

The pair have known each other for the past 14 years and during that time both have won top honors in both indoor and beach volleyball.

But Maggie, 30, who usually partners Karla Borger on the beach volleyball World Tour, wasn’t expecting to be lining up alongside Laura at the USD 600,000 event on the Croatian coast.

“I was actually surprised when Laura called me and asked if I could play with her,” said Kozuch. “Every single match is an opportunity for me. It will be a good experience.”

Walkenhorst’s omission from the Poreč Major meant the Olympic heroes from the Copacabana have yet to feature at a Swatch Major Series stop season. Ludwig, 31, missed February’s Fort Lauderdale Major while recovering from a shoulder operation.

“The winter was long, I didn’t like it,” added Ludwig. “I was at home a lot and had to watch the Fort Lauderdale tournament on live stream. That was definitely a knife in my heart.

“After my surgery I wasn’t allowed to touch the ball for three months and I missed the beach volleyball a lot. That was definitely the hard part.

“I’m now coming back stronger.”

Ludwig and Kozuch qualified for the elimination round at Poreč Major but were defeated by Krystyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova of the Czech Republic in the round of 24 in straight sets 14-21, 15-21.

Laura's back at the Beach with Maggie

Laura Ludwig returns to #PorecMajor with new partner Maggie Kozuch

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