Moscow, Russia, May 26, 2016 – Marleen van Iersel is travelling to Copacabana this summer with only one goal; an Olympic medal. The 28-year old Dutch beach volleyball player finished ninth at the 2012 London Olympic Games, but this time things will be different, she said.
“The London Olympics were kind of special, because it was the first one. Since I was a little girl I had been dreaming about it, so that was a dream come true. Rio is going to be different, because it’s the second time. It’s going to be more serious.”
She will also have a different ‘partner in crime’. Sanne Keizer was at her side at the London Olympics, but she retired in 2014. “Sanne is studying to be a police detective now. And she is a mom of twins, a boy and a girl.”
The 26-year old Madelein Meppelink replaced Keizer at the net. “It’s like a second marriage, being on the tour. With Madelein, I think it took us a year almost to get there. But we are at the right place now and so ready for Rio.”
The Dutch pair only competed at three tournaments this season so far, all in Brazil, with silver at the Maceio Open being their best result. At the moment they are getting into shape at the Moscow Grand Slam.Quick linksFIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Moscow Grand Slam
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“We have had quite a long training period, where other teams have played a lot of tournaments already. For us the season is starting right now. All the top teams are here, it’s a good test for the Olympics.”
And in a few months it is time to peak. “Our goal is to end up on the podium in Rio, this is what we are playing for and I hope it’s going to happen.”