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2017-05-10 16:56:00 CEST

More Than Sports: World Championship motivation

New team Plesiutschnig/Rimser are ready to fly the flag for Austria

Lena Plesiutschnig (right) and Conny Rimser together with Nadine and Theresa Strauss (left) are on the way up. Photocredit: FIVB.Lena Plesiutschnig (right) and Conny Rimser together with Nadine and Theresa Strauss (left) are on the way up. Photocredit: FIVB.

Austrians Conny Rimser and Lena Plesiutschnig started the 2017 beach volleyball season with very different feelings.

Conny, who always kept one foot inside the world of indoor volleyball over the past few years, was asked by the Austrian Volleyball Federation to play a leading part in the new project of centralizing beach volleyball. “I didn’t expect to get that opportunity,” the 35-year-old told us. “Now it’s a big chance for me to bring the best out of me and look how far it can go.”

For Lena, meanwhile, she had a more difficult situation to deal with. When she came to the new base in Vienna, it was her first intention that she will continue to partner fellow 23-year-old Kathi Schützenhöfer. The young duo played together for seven years at national and international tournaments. But 1.75m-tall defender Kathi was head hunted by Steffi Schwaiger, the European Champion of 2013. “In the beginning, it was not easy for me because we are also best friends and live together,” Lena told us. Now, however, the Graz native is focused on her own development as a player, which is working out quite well alongside the experienced Conny.

Beginning with bronze 

The girls enjoyed success in their first tournament, too. The newly formed national team climbed onto to the podium to win bronze in the FIVB World Tour event in Langkawi, Malaysia. “It was only a one star event, but it was a fantastic success for us, which I did not expect before,” Lena said. “I like playing with Conny. She is extremely focused and motivated.”

As it stands for the World Championship in Vienna, Plesiutschnig/Rimser are Austria’s number two team behind Schwaiger/Schützenhöfer. Lena is approaching the opportunity to play at the Danube Island, which will become the beach volleyball location from July 28, differently. “I pass the Island every day, when I am driving to practice imaging how the new stadium will look like,” she says. “Every day a motivation for me. I wouldn’t mind if they would start construction now.”

Geiler 3. Platz in Langkawi 🥉🤗💪🏼 Wir sind mega ...

Geiler 3. Platz in Langkawi 🥉🤗💪🏼 Wir sind mega Happy mit unserer Leistung bei unserem ersten gemeinsamen Turnier 🙌🏼😊!!! #happy #medal #bronze #fivb #worldtour #langkawi #verival

Home town girl

Conny Rimser also knows the location very well. She often has been with her bike to Danube Island or laying in the sun there. “As I am originally from Vienna, there couldn’t be anything bigger for me than to have the World Championships in my home city,” she raves. Living just 20 minutes away from the place of action. “It’s extremely familiar to me,” she continues. Importantly, though, both athletes are set to play in their first World Championships in July. “That will be the absolute highlight of our season,” Lena says.

Four years ago, Lena had to watch former partner Kathi play with Barbara Hansel in Poland. Because of a shoulder injury, she could not play many tournaments in that 2013 season. She also watched from a distance two years ago when the World Championships were in the Netherlands. “I was watching the live stream all the time,” she tells us. Now she can’t wait to be part of the action herself. “It’s an absolute incentive and we want to present our country the best way possible.” But before the big action starts, Plesiutschnig/Rimser want to collect as many competition experience as possible. The next planned stops for the duo will be Moscow, Gstaad, Baden and Poreč. “We would love to play Poreč Major, and I hope we will have enough points to get in,” Lena says. To achieve that goal they’ve got continue to work hard with one thing on their minds...

Trainingsmotivation 🙌🏽👌🏽 #worldchamps #vienna ...

Trainingsmotivation 🙌🏽👌🏽 #worldchamps #vienna #fivb #verival

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