The British beach volleyball pairing of Lucy Boulton and Denise Johns head off to Australia shortly to renew their campaign to win a place at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
The pair must perform well at a series of International Beach Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Tour events this year to climb up the rankings and increase their chances of securing an Olympic berth.
They were today (Tuesday) putting in some final training sessions at their University of Bath training base before heading off to Australia.
Their campaign gets underway in the Adelaide SWATCH-FIVB tournament later in March and is followed by competitions in Shanghai, Seoul, Osaka, Barcelona, Berlin and Paris.
Twenty four women’s teams will compete in the beach volleyball tournament at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, up to a maximum of two pairs per country.
Teams need to secure ranking points at a number of major competitions around at the world up to 20th July this year to reach the Games. At the moment the top British pairing of Boulton and Johns are just over a dozen places in the ranking list off achieving the Olympic qualifying standard.
Matt Grinlaubs, GB beach volleyball head coach, said: “They need to achieve eight good results during the qualifying period this year, which runs up to 20th July.
“It looks fairly tough, but we wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t think they had a chance.”
Great Britain hasn’t qualified a pair to play in the beach volleyball competition at an Olympic Games since 1996, when Amanda Glover and Audrey Cooper finished ninth at Atlanta.
The British beach volleyball programme is based at the University of Bath, where athletes train on the open air beach and also indoors at the Sports Training Village. The outdoor beach facility has been operational since December 2007, enabling players to train on the right sort of sand and pit their wits against varying winds.
Meanwhile the University of Bath Sports Training Village hosts the finals of Volleyball England’s National Cup competition on Saturday 26th April and Sunday 27th April.
The venue will see just under a thousand volleyball spectators watch the Cup Finals over the weekend, which is the pinnacle of the indoor volleyball season in England. Six-a-side indoor teams have competed since October ’07 to reach the finals, which sees men’s, women’s and junior finals over the two days, which are televised on Sky Sports.
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its TeamB ath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.
Members of the media who require further information can contact the TeamBath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 383518 or see the Team Bath website.
For more information about Volleyball, Beach Volleyball or Sitting Volleyball and their athletes, please contact Communications & Promotions Officer, Rebecca Lee on +44(0)1509 631699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: Tuesday 4th March 2008