Kerri Walsh Jennings "laser-focused" on Tokyo 2020
The American has announced her intention to play on for two more seasons and finish her career at Tokyo 2020 with a new partner.
“The qualifying process has already begun and I have a new partner, Brooke Sweat, and we are definitely laser-focused on qualifying for the Olympics, because we want to win it!” Kerri told HollywoodLife.com.
Not bad for a mother of three who also balances her sporting career with raising money for children's charities.
Perhaps it was a bronze-medal finish at Rio 2016 alongside April Ross that persuaded Walsh Jennings to have one more crack at Olympic gold.
She described her state of mind after that tournament as "living in fear on the court".
Injuries also affected her new partnership with Nicole Branagh, and they split after failing to make the 2017 FIVB World Tour finals.
Before then, Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor had dominated the sport for a decade, winning their third consecutive Olympic title at London 2012.
Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor complete hat-trick at London 2012
Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor complete hat-trick at London 2012Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor beat fellow Americans Jen Kessy and April Ross 21-16, 21-16 for a third straight Olympic title.
Now she is hoping to strike up a similarly powerful alliance with Sweat, a four-time ABVP (Association of Beach Volleyball Professionals) Defensive Player of the Year winner.
“We have foundation of respect. We have a similar you know set of values and principals and a love for the game. We both love to work hard and win,” Kerri told HollywoodLife.com."
"I believe that’s gonna serve us very well. But each relationship is different. And I’m never one to compare my partners to each other.
"This is a new relationship it will require new things from me. And I will grow because of this new partnership and I am excited.”
New Year's action
Walsh Jennings and Sweat's road to Tokyo starts in The Hague, where the pair are playing at the FIVB World Tour 4-Star Dela Beach Open.
They made the perfect start in Pool H, beating Czech duo Michaela Kubickova and Michala Kvapilova 21-11, 21-12.
This is their third tournament together after a last 32 exit in Las Vegas, and third place in the 3-Star event in Chetumal, Mexico.
While Olympic qualification is a long way off, the duo's pedigree and experience make for a potentially explosive combination.
And they could meet some familiar opposition in the Netherlands with Walsh Jennings' Rio 2016 partner Ross and Alix Klineman defending their title.
Despite Walsh Jennings turning 42 the week after Tokyo 2020 draws to a close, it would take a brave person to bet against her making her sixth Games in Japan.