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2016-07-05 15:20:00 CET

Poreč champions come through qualifying

German heroes will celebrate Croatian success…but first Gstaad

Julia Sude (left) and Chantal Laboureur are through to the main draw. Photocredit: Daniel GollnerJulia Sude (left) and Chantal Laboureur are through to the main draw. Photocredit: Daniel Gollner

Three days ago Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude were soaked in champagne and had gold medals hanging around their necks in Poreč.

Today they had to qualify for the main draw here at the Gstaad Major. What a contrast! They are only the 11th women’s team ever to win an FIVB tournament and have to qualify for the main draw of the next tournament.

On Center Court there was no shock, as the Germans got their campaign here in Switzerland under way with a comfortable victory over Swiss pair Laura Caluori and Elena Steinemann.

Their stunning triumph in Croatia has now finally sunk in, and after this week is over, they’re going to celebrate properly!

“We’ve had two days to realize what has happened,” Chantal told us. “Yesterday we tried to focus for today because it’s a new tournament and we have to start from the bottom.

“But after this tournament we will let out all the emotion.”

At that point Julia smiled and said: “We’ll have seven days off, enjoy our time and party a little bit!”

Reflecting on their achievement at Poreč – their first ever gold medal – Chantal added: “We got a lot of messages, some of which I still haven’t answered yet.

“But we have spoken to our families – my boyfriend drove overnight to Poreč to come and see me so that was nice.”

Julia, meanwhile, was quick to see the positives of having to go through qualification despite winning gold at the weekend.

“We’re using this game to our advantage,” she said. “We’re taking it seriously because we have an opportunity to play on Center Court, experience the atmosphere, the court and the referees. It’s good to get an early feeling for the competition.”

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