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2016-06-30 15:36:00 CET

Emotional rollercoaster for Olympic hopefuls

Austrians now focus on qualification after Poreč exit

Babsi Hansel now has eyes on booking her ticket for Rio. Photocredit: Mike Ranz.Babsi Hansel now has eyes on booking her ticket for Rio. Photocredit: Mike Ranz.

They might have fallen at the first hurdle of the Poreč Major but Babsi Hansel and Steffi Schwaiger have more important things on their mind right now: the Olympic qualification.

It has been an emotional rollercoaster for the Austrian pair in the past week: they finished third at the CEV Continental Cup in Stavanger and next week they have a final chance to qualify for Rio at the Continental Cup finals in Sochi.

“It’s really crazy,” Babsi told us after her and Steffi’s defeat to Chinese Olympians Wang/Yue. “We always try to be in the moment of course, but it is difficult. Last week we were really close to getting the ticket already and to make this week a bit more relaxed.

“The good thing is we have another chance so we have to focus on this. This week we prepared and of course we’d like to stay in the tournament, especially here in Poreč with so many Austrian fans here. The games we played here were good – the only thing missing was the consistency and that’s what we’ll focus on for next week.”

Last week Hansel and Schwaiger watched on as their fellow Austrians Xandi Huber and Robin Seidl booked their place on the plane to Brazil.

And the girls now hope to use that as inspiration as they fight for the final ticket in Russia.

“It was so nice,” Babsi smiled. “We watched them when it was possible to and cheered them on a lot. It was a really nice atmosphere, totally different because it was a bigger team feeling for beach volleyball players.

“Xandi and Robin played really well and we should do the same if we bring it on the sand – of course it’s really nice to see them win and we still believe.”

As they will be in Sochi next week they won’t be digging and diving at the Gstaad Major so the girls’ next port of call on the Major Series will be Klagenfurt!

“The highlight for all Austrians is always Klagenfurt and it’s not far away now – and it would be nice to play there with the Olympic ticket already,” said Hansel.

“Otherwise we’ll go there and enjoy it. But I hope we can relax their because we’re going to the Olympics.”

And we hope so, too. Viel Glück, girls – and thanks for stopping by in Poreč!

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