Five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings has withdrawn from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship following a shoulder injury suffered last weekend.
Walsh Jennings and partner Nicole Branagh were playing in the third set of the semifinals at the FIVB World Tour stop Saturday in Olsztyn, Poland, when Walsh Jennings dived and twisted her right arm. The American duo finished the match and lost, then withdrew from Sunday’s bronze-medal game.
It was the most success they’d had in a tournament since teaming up again in May. Walsh Jennings and Branagh had previously partnered together from 2009 to 2011.
The shoulder is the same one on which Walsh Jennings has had surgery five times, most recently in the fall of 2015. After taking six months off, Walsh Jennings went on to appear in her fifth Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio, where she won the bronze medal with then-partner April Ross. She had previously won three Olympic gold medals with partner Misty May-Treanor.
Walsh Jennings retweeted the announcement that she’ll miss the world championships, writing, “Man oh man, this stinks! I have a slight (broken heart) right now, but the BIG picture has me feeling eager, excited & calm. I am in the best hands.”
Emily Day will take Walsh Jennings’ place with Branagh in the world championships, which begin on Friday in Vienna, Austria. Because Walsh Jennings and Branagh earned their spot via a NORCECA quota, the quota spot goes to the country, and USA Volleyball registers the players meeting FIVB eligibility.Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.