2017-06-20 11:03:00 CET

Swiss girls warm-up for Gstaad with silver

First podium place for Anouk and Joana

Joana and Anouk all smiles with their first medal as a team. Photocredit: FIVBJoana and Anouk all smiles with their first medal as a team. Photocredit: FIVB

As the Gstaad Major edges ever nearer, there was good news for Swiss fans ahead of the Major in the mountains as Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Joana Heidrich gained their first podium place on the World Tour last weekend.

The new team, who joined forces at the start of the season following the retirement of their former teammates Nadine Zumkehr and Isabelle Forrer, beat reigning Olympic champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst and Fort Lauderdale gold medalists Larissa/Talita on their way to winning a silver medal at the three-star event in The Hague.

Anouk and Joana also toppled Fort Lauderdale Major runners-up Agatha/Duda to reach the final but found Brazilians Maria Antontelli and Carol Solberg too hot in the final, going down 21-17, 21-11 in 39 minutes.

Having recorded two 17th place finishes in their two previous tournaments on the international scene, the Swiss pair will go into the Gstaad Major full of confidence having beaten a host of the world’s top teams in the Netherlands.

“It’s been a good week and I think this is what we have to take with us into the next tournament,” Anouk said.

There was also success for the Swiss in the men’s competition as Nico Beeler and Marco Krattiger finished in a hugely respectable fourth place, losing out on a bronze medal to European champions Lupo/Nicolai of Italy. The duo were 20th seeds but recorded two excellent victories over fancied Brazilian teams Alvaro Filho/Saymon and Guto/Pedro Solberg to progress to the last four.

Gold went the way of Russians Krasilnikov/Liamin who beat Spain’s Herrera/Gavira 23-21, 22-20 in the final. It was the pair’s second gold medal of the season after success in Kish Island and it came just two weeks after they won silver on home sand in Moscow.

The question is, can the Swiss keep up their form and go all the way when they have home advantage in Gstaad in two weeks’ time?

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