Olsztyn, Poland, August 25, 2015 – Czech pair Krystina Kolocova and Marketa Slukova, also known as Kiki and Maki, shocked their fans by announcing their break up just a few weeks ago.
While Kolocova is still looking for a new partner, Slukova teamed up with Barbora Hermannova and they started out with a win in the first round of qualification at the Olsztyn Grand Slam on Tuesday.
“I played with Krystina for more than 10 years," Slukova said. "We have accomplished a lot and have great memories, but in the past few months we both felt that we reached our potential and we are not pushing each other forward anymore.”
In 2014 Slukova and Kolocova won two FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour golds medals after their stunning fifth place finish at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
With her new partner she has had to start all over again, meaning qualification at the Long Beach Grand Slam and the Olsztyn Grand Slam.
“I knew this would happen if I broke up with Krystina, but I am willing to take the challenge," Slukova said. “This is new for me, I think I have only played two qualification matches in my whole career. It’s hard, but I think we have the potential.”
Changing partners means new challenges, but also new options, Slukova said. “I don’t have to run for the block every time anymore because I can now switch with Barbora, which is a big relief for a 1.80m blocker. For both of us, we have more options now.”
For the 24-year old Hermannova partnering Slukova was a chance she could not let slip. She has been playing on the World Tour with Martina Bonnerova since 2010, with whom she won gold at the 2014 Manguang, South Africa.
“She is totally great and she can support me on the court. I am looking forward to playing with Maki.”