Two-time Olympians Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel re-united
News from the National Federations
Nieuwegein, Netherlands, December 14, 2016. Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel will form a Beach Volleyball team again. The athletes from the Dutch national Beach Volleyball programme successfully played together before from 2011 to 2013. Meppelink and van Gestel won a Grand Slam tournament in Corrientes, Argentina in 2013, and as a result they are the only Dutch women’s team to have won a Grand Slam to date. Meppelink and van Gestel finished in ninth place at the 2012 Olympics in London.
The last few seasons the now 27-year-old Madelein Meppelink played together with Marleen Ramond-van Iersel. After the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro they both decided to follow a new path. Ramond-van Iersel recently announced that she will form a team with Volleyball star Manon Nummerdor-Flier.
The last two years Sophie van Gestel (25) played with Jantine van der Vlist. After the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, van der Vlist announced her retirement from competitive sport.
After these developments Meppelink and van Gestel found each other quite fast. “I’m looking forward to our renewed cooperation,” said Meppelink. “Sophie and I know each other through and through. We always were a good team, and after Sophie took a sabbatical from Beach Volleyball in 2013, we stayed friends. We expect to compete at the highest level very fast and we’re looking forward to the first matches of the new season. Sophie is one of the most skilled defenders in the world. Almost nobody can dig like she does.”
Also van Gestel is thrilled about her new partner. “The game of Beach Volleyball is so addictive and cool that I want to keep on playing,” she adds. “Madelein is a world-class player. Hopefully we can catch up with the best teams in the world as quickly as possible.”