2018-08-22 14:54:00 CET

Kerri and Kelly Claes team up

Olympic legend joins forces with rising star for NORCECA event

Kerri, pictured during the Swatch Major Gstaad, will team up for Kelly Claes for a NORCECA qualifier Kerri, pictured during the Swatch Major Gstaad, will team up for Kelly Claes for a NORCECA qualifier

We’re not sure how long it will last and whether it will end with a tilt at Olympic qualification, but we do know that three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings will partner Kelly Claes at the forthcoming NORCECA qualifiers in Manhattan Beach this week.

A total of 12 teams per gender will be competing for the available spots to represent the United States at the NORCECA Championships in the Dominican Republic in September.

Kerri, who turned 40 earlier this month, split from teammate Nicole Branagh following their 17th place finish at the Swatch Major Gstaad, when the pair were entered as wildcards. Claes, 22, played the 2018 campaign with Brittany Hochevar, during which the duo won silver in Xiamen and finished ninth in Vienna last time out.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to get to know one of the young super stars of our sport,” Kerri told beachmajorseries.com. “Kelly will undoubtedly go far in her career and I’m looking forward to witnessing it and to participating, a bit, through this NORCECA qualifier opportunity.

“We’ve had two practices and Kelly is a really fun athlete with whom to share the court. I’m excited for tomorrow. Hopefully we are successful – that’s the plan! – in qualifying and we’ll share more time on the court in October with the Dominican Republic NORCECA event.”

Olympic qualification points are up for grabs in the event at the NORCECA championships, so watch this space. Good luck to both players in the new partnership.

Kelly Claes has partnered Sara Hughes and Brittany Hochevar in 2018 Kelly Claes has partnered Sara Hughes and Brittany Hochevar in 2018

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