Bowes praises teams

24 May 2012 / 07:25

Great Britain's beach volleyball head coach Morph Bowes has praised the determination of his two women's teams after they bounced back from a tough start to the 2012 season with a crucial win in Paris last weekend that has raised hopes of both qualifying for the London Olympics.

The British pairs of Denise Johns and Lucy Boulton and Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney defeated a much-fancied Spanish side on Saturday to book their place at next month's Continental Cup finals in Moscow - where a ticket to London 2012 is the prize on offer to the winners of the eight-nation event.

The victory maintained GB's last remaining realistic chance of sending both teams to the London Games, with qualification by dint of breaking into the top 16 in the world by June 18 a task that sadly looks out of their reach against the might of established nations Brazil, the USA, China and Germany.

But Bowes, a former international player who has been British beach volleyball's head coach since April 2011, insists there is no disgrace in not cracking the top 16 - and is confident the Continental Cup route will give GB another ticket to Horse Guards Parade to go alongside their host-nation berth.

"We're still on track to get both our teams to the Olympics," Bowes told Press Association Sport.

"Winning in France last weekend was a big step towards that.

"Coming into this season, for all the girls there was the pressure of the Olympic season, so the reality has started to dawn on them.

"Getting into the top 16 is a huge ask. People who don't know volleyball don't understand what it takes to get on that level.

"It's such a credit to the girls that they've got to where they have done. But the Continental Cup has always been a realistic chance, because we've two very strong teams, which suits the format.

"A big part of this year has been trying to maintain our performance level - which we had been struggling with - so for them to finally do it in a really pressure situation was really important, really pleasing."