Beach Volleyroo Max Guehrer announces retirement from international-level competition

Beach Volleyroo Max Guehrer announces retirement from international-level competition

Asian Beach Volleyball Championships bronze medalist and Continental Cup winner Max Guehrer announced today that he will retire from international-level beach volleyball.

Guehrer, aged 26, was a member of the Australian team who won the Asian Continental Cup in 2021, playing an important role in the qualification of the Australian men’s beach volleyball team to the Tokyo Olympic Games. The teams of Guehrer/Zachery Schubert and Damien Schumann/Chris McHugh defeated Indonesia in Thailand and secured an Olympic quota for Australia, in what Gueher described as the career achievement he’s the most proud of.

“Even more so when you think about the lead-up that I had, personally. I suffered from a near broken toe and a concussion, I split my eyebrow open and I missed about two weeks of training in the six weeks prior to the event.

“Being locked in your room for 23 hours a day and then to come out and perform like we did as a big team, and with Zachery in particular, was incredible to be a part of,” Guehrer said.

Over a ten-year period covering his junior and elite career, Guehrer spent four seasons on the FIVB Pro Tour, playing in 24 tournaments and winning two bronze medals, in Ljubljana (2018, with Paul Burnett as a partner) and recently at the 2022 Coolangatta Futures (with Thomas Hodges). In 2019 he was the captain of the Australian 4-a-side men’s beach volleyball team in Qatar at the inaugural World Beach Games.

In another highlight of his career, in 2020 he also won the bronze medal at the 2020 Asian Beach Volleyball Championships teaming up with Zachery Schubert.

As a junior, Guehrer won every Junior National Championships he competed in between the under17 and under23 categories, and he also participated in four consecutive FIVB Junior World Championships between 2013-2016, claiming a top-ten finish in 2014.

In announcing his retirement from international competition, Guehrer took the time to recognise the support he received over the years from the volleyball community and the people who accompanied him along the way, including his teammates and support staff. He also spared a thought for some of the most influential coaches he worked with during his career.

“I’ve had some amazing coaches over the years, like Alexis Lebedew or Mick Nelson, during my junior stages,” Guehrer said.

“But Margo Wiltens was the most influential in my journey. I only had her as a coach for a year, but during that time we went through it all and I truly believe we wouldn’t have qualified [a quota at the Olympics] if Margo hadn’t been hired to coach Zach and I. She brought a different point of view and a spark to the team and men’s program.”

Volleyball Australia National Performance Director, Craig Marshall, wanted to congratulate Max Guehrer on his sporting journey and thank him for the contribution he made to Australian beach volleyball.

“Max has been a member of the national program since 2013 when he was only a junior, and during this time we’ve seen him grow not only as an athlete, but also as a person. He is a talented player and his ability to motivate himself and his teammates, on and off the court, made him an integral member of our beach volleyball program.

“On behalf of VA and the Australian volleyball community, I would like to wish Max all the best. We’re excited to see what’s next for him,” Marshall said.

As he steps away from international-level beach volleyball, Guehrer said he’s considering his options, with many projects developing in the background, including a possible career in wine-making in South Australia.

“I am diving in to work in my partner’s family winery, K1. Come down to Kuitpo and visit – you might see me working around the place,” he said.

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