Rio de Janeiro, August 11, 2016 - Germany's Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst are trying to stay unbeaten in pool D against last-minute partners Laura Giombini/Marta Menegatti of Italy on day six. A win by Germany advances them into the elimination stage, a loss ties them with Italy at 2-1, and a win by Canada over Egypt in the other pool match, creates a three-way tie for 1st place. If Italy loses, they will either be in a three-way tie for 2nd, if Egypt wins, or sole possession of 3rd-place if Canada wins.
Head to Head
The two teams have never played in FIVB World Tour competition.
Historically the #4 seed has won all four meetings against the #9 seed in the Olympic Games
• Jennifer Kessy/April Ross (4), United States def. Sanne Keizer/Marleen Van Iersel (9), Netherlands, 21-15, 12-21, 15-8 in 56 minutes, Pool Play, London (2012).
• Chen Xue/Xi Zhang (4), China def. Sara Niedrig/Laura Ludwig (9), Germany, 21-14, 21-18 in 41 minutes, Pool Play, Beijing (2008).
• Holly McPeak/Elaine Youngs (4), United States def. Nicole Schnyder-Benoit/Simone Kuhn (9), Switzerland, 22-24, 21-17, 15-12 in 60 minutes, Pool Play, Athens (2004).
• Barbra Fontana/Linda Hanley (4), United States def. Liane Fenwick/Anita Spring (9), Australia, 15-6 in 37 minutes, Contender's Bracket Round 4, Atlanta (1996).
Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Germany, Seed #4, Pool D, 2-0, MAX Set Ratio, 1.5273 Point Ratio, Qualified 4th with 6,500 Points in the 2015-16 Olympic qualification period
• Laura: January 13, 1986 (30y6m24d), 181 cm (5'11"), 70 kg (155 lbs.), Hometown Berlin, 130th FIVB World Tour event (ranks 19th), seven gold medals, $800,137 career winnings (ranks 11th)
• Kira: November 18, 1990 (25y8m19d), 184 cm (6'0"), 75 kg (167 lbs.), Hometown Essen, 43rd FIVB World Tour event, seven gold medals, $370,187 career winnings (ranks 43rd)
• Laura and Kira have been playing together since 2013. They are playing in their 37th FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament together (ranks 86th), seven gold medals (ranks 10th), $721,275 career winnings (ranks 12th).
• Laura has played in 33 FIVB World Tour final fours with seven gold, 11 silver, nine bronze medals and six 4th place finishes.
• Kira has played in 17 FIVB World Tour final fours with seven gold, three silver, four bronze medals and three 4th place finishes.
• Laura and Kira have played in 11 Final Fours in 2015-2016 (4th Stavanger Major 2015, Gold Yokohama Grand Slam 2015, Bronze Long Beach Grand Slam 2015, Silver World Tour Finals 2015, Gold Puerto Vallarta Open 2015-16, Gold Antalya Open 2016, Gold Hamburg Major 2016, Gold Olsztyn Grand Slam 2016, 4th Porec Major 2016, Bronze Gstaad Major 2016, Gold Klagenfurt Major 2016).
• Laura finished 9th in the Olympic Games in 2008 (Beijing) and 5th in 2012 (London), both with Sara Goller Niedrig.
• Laura and Kira finished 5th in the FIVB World Championships in 2013 (Stare Jablonki) and 17th in 2015 (The Hague).
• Laura finished 17th in the FIVB World Championships in 2005 (Berlin), 17th in 2007 (Gstaad), 9th in 2009 (Stavanger), and 9th in 2011 (Rome), all with Sara Goller Niedrig.
• Laura and Kira are currently ranked 1st in FIVB World Tour points in 2016 with 5,980 points and 1st in winnings with $282,375.
• Laura and Kira have a career 154-54 (74.0%) match record in FIVB World Tour Events and a 95-28 (77.2%) record in 2015-16.
• Laura and Kira won bronze medals at the European (CEV) Continental Championships in 2013 (Klagenfurt, Austria) and 2014 (Cagliari, Italy), and gold medals in 2015 (Klagenfurt, Austria) and 2016 (Biel, Switzerland).
• Laura won the gold medal at the CEV Continental Championships with Sara Goller Niedrig in 2008 (Hamburg, Germany) and 2010 (Berlin, Germany).
• Laura ranks 3rd with eight gold medals on the CEV Continental Tour behind Greece's Vasso Karadassiou (10) and Vasiliki Arvaniti (9).
• Laura won the gold medal at the U18 World Championships with Jana Kohler in 2003 (Pattaya, Thailand).
• Laura was named the FIVB World Tour Most Improved Player in 2007, Best Offensive Player in 2011, Best Defensive Player in 2013, Most Inspirational in 2013, and Sportsperson in 2015.
• Kira was named the FIVB World Tour Most Improved Player in 2013 and Top Rookie in 2013.
• Defeated Doaa Elghobashy/Nada Meawad, Egypt (21), 21-12 and 21-15 in 34 minutes.
• Defeated Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas, Canada (16), 21-17 and 21-11 in 32 minutes.
Laura Giombini/Marta Menegatti, Italy, Seed #9, Pool D, 1-1, 1.500 Set Ratio, 1.2162 Point Ratio, Qualified 8th with 5,300 Points in the 2015-16 Olympic qualification period
• Laura: January 4, 1989 (27y7m2d), 183 cm (6'0"), 70 kg (155 lbs.), Hometown Perugia, 55th FIVB World Tour event with $53,313 in career winnings
• Marta: August 16, 1990 (25y11m21d), 180 cm (5'11"), 67 kg (149 lbs.), Hometown Rovigo, 82nd FIVB World Tour event (ranks 88th), one gold medal, $418,325 career winnings (ranks 32nd)
• Laura and Marta are playing in their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament together.
• Laura has never played in an FIVB World Tour final four. Her best career World Tour finish is a 5th-place with Giulia Momoli in the 2014 Mangaung Open in South Africa.
• Marta has played in 21 FIVB World Tour final fours with one gold, six silver, six bronze medals and eight 4th place finishes.
• Marta finished 5th in the Olympic Games with Greta Cicolari in 2012 (London).
• Laura finished 37th in the FIVB World Championships with Valeria Rosso in 2011 (Rome) and 17th with Daniela Gioria in 2013 (Stare Jablonki).
• Marta finished 9th in the FIVB World Championships in 2011 (Rome), and 5th in 2013 (Stare Jablonki), both with Greta Cicolari and 9th in 2015 (The Hague) with Viktoria Orsi Toth.
• Laura Giombini and Rebecca Perry are currently ranked 59th in FIVB World Tour points in 2016 with 580 points and 50th in winnings with $7,800.
• Laura and Marta have a career 1-1 (50.0%) match record in FIVB World Tour Events, all in 2015-16.
• Marta and Viktoria Orsi Toth are currently ranked 7th in FIVB World Tour points in 2016 with 4,260 points and 13th in winnings with $96,875.
• Marta and Viktoria Orsi Toth have a career 122-78 (61.0%) match record in FIVB World Tour Events and a 73-39 (65.2%) record in 2015-16.
• Marta and Viktoria Orsi Toth won Italy's only FIVB World Tour gold medal.
• Marta and Viktoria Orsi Toth won the silver medal at the U21 World Championships in 2010 (Alanya, Turkey).
• Marta won the silver medal at the U19 World Championships with Gilda Lombardo in 2007 (Myslowice, Poland).
• Marta won the gold medal at the European (CEV) Continental Championships with Greta Cicolari in 2011 (Kristiansand, Norway).
• Marta was named the FIVB World Tour Most Improved Player in 2011.
• Lost to Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas, Canada (16), 21-15, 18-21, and 9-15 in 56 minutes.
• Defeated Doaa Elghobashy /Nada Meawad, Egypt (21), 21-10 and 21-13 in 35 minutes.