Holtwick & Semmler making German Olympic qualifying process interesting

Sochi, Russia, May 8, 2016 - Ilke Semmler did not want to talk about it after she and German partner Katrin Holtwick captured the Sochi Open women’s bronze medal match here Sunday by defeating Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy in three-sets.

After posting a 2-1 (20-22, 21-5, 15-10) win in 51 minutes over the third-seeded Menegatti and Orsi Toth, Semmler was asked how big the win was as the pair added 50 points to their Rio Olympic provisional ranking total.

YOUTUBE interview with Sochi Open women's bronze medal winners Holtwick/Semmler of Germany -

"I don't want to talk about it," said the 30-year old Semmler, who was playing in her 107th FIVB World Tour event with Holtwick.  "All I know is that we won a medal by defeating a very good Italian team.  It was a tough match and great to win a spot on the Sochi podium."

The German pair has been playing full-time together on the international circuit since 2006 with Sunday's bronze medal finish their 15th podium placement.  The third-place was their second of the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour season and comes after placing ninth at the end of April at international stops in China at Xiamen and Fuzhou.  With the win, the Germans split $6,000 for placing third while Menegatti and Orsi Toth shared $4,500 for fourth.

With 4,610 Olympic qualifying points for their 12 best finishes since the start of the Rio process in April 2015, Holtwick and Semmler now trail the Karla Borger and Britta Buthe, the No. 2 German team on the ranking list, by 250 points.  With the top 15 teams, excluding Brazilians, qualifying from the FIVB World Tour, there is a maximum of two teams per country that can qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The final four FIVB World Tour qualifying events begin with a stop next week in Turkey (Antalya, 10-15) followed by events in the United States (Cincinnati, May 17-22), Moscow (May 24-29) and Germany (Hamburg, June 7-12).  Also counting towards Olympic qualification will be the European championships June 1-5 in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland.


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