Bakare shines in volleyball defeat

Dami Bakare was the toast of Great Britain's dressing room after showing what he can do in the men's Olympic volleyball tournament.

The 23-year-old from Mitcham arrived at the Games charged with being the go-to player who could help Harry Brokking's men achieve their stretch goal of reaching the quarter-finals.

That was built on the opposite's startling development over the course of the last two years - he was the second-highest scorer at last summer's test event - and glowing reports from his coach and team-mates.

Bakare failed to consistently deliver in the group games against Bulgaria, Russia and Italy but stepped up in the defeat by tournament favourites Poland on Saturday, top-scoring with 14 points and demonstrating just why hopes for him had been so high.

"Dami has shown us what he can do, he really came through for us yesterday," team-mate Joel Miller told Press Association Sport.

"Dami is a young guy, like we all are in the squad. He has struggled to find a bit of rhythm but that was what he can do. He can be devastating.

"Unfortunately, he will have two great games and then two bad and he will say that himself. But when he does have a good game, he can rip the best of the world apart like he did against Poland."

No-one was more pleased with Bakare's performance than his coach. The veteran Dutchman has invested heavily in Bakare over the last two years, preferring to give him game time over the experienced Canadian Jason Haldane.

"I was saying Dami is a huge talent, he has everything you need to become a star. It goes for him and the rest of them, they are so young," he said.

"If you compare the age of the team to the ones of Poland, Brazil, Russia - there is eight years of difference. Volleyball is a lot to do with experience. We have shown we have the talent and Dami definitely does."