Misty_May-Treanor_and_Kerri_Walsh_celebrate_Olympic_gold_medal_2008March 6 - Misty May-Treanor is to reunite with Kerri Walsh to chase a third consecutive beach volleyball Olympic gold medal at London in 2012, the pair have announced.

Qualifying for the 2012 London Games begins this year, and the most successful duo in beach volleyball history have set their target to make sure they are there.

"I'm extremely excited to partner with Kerri again, to go out and defend our Olympic gold medal, and represent the United States," May-Treanor told NBC.

"We feel very strongly that London will be a great Olympic Games."

Walsh has only played sparingly since their last gold-medal performance because she has given birth to two children.

The 32-year-old had been planning to team with Nicole Branagh to try to qualify for the London Games if May-Treanor, 33, had stayed away from the game as she had originally claimed she planned to do.

They have never lost at the Olympics, winning all 28 sets of their 14 matches at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in Athens and Beijing.

May-Treanor and Walsh have 99 tournament victories and have earned more than $3.25 million (£1.99 million) in winnings.

They have only played one tournament together since 2008, but in that one event - an AVP invitational in Arizona - they beat the top-ranked team in the world, Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil, in the qualifying tournament before falling to them in the final.

That performance was May-Treanor's first after sitting out nearly an entire year due to a ruptured Achilles tendon that she suffered on the TV show "Dancing With the Stars."

Walsh also sat out most of the 2009 season as she was pregnant with her first child.

"I was thrilled to learn recently that Misty has decided to return to the sand," Walsh told NBC.

"Misty is an amazing athlete and a tremendous teammate and I can't wait to be reunited with her this season on the FIVB World Tour and in certain exhibition events at home here in the US.

"In the two plus years since the Beijing Olympics, a lot of great things have happened - but the reality is that we've only been on the court together a couple of times since China.

"I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to team up with Misty.

"It's going to be a fun ride."