Great Britain’s Denise Johns and Lucy Boulton narrowly missed out on a medal at the London Prepares test event today as they were beaten to the bronze medal by Vivian and Lima from Brazil.
The Brazilians edged a tight bronze medal contest 19-21, 18-21 in hot and humid conditions more akin to their native Copacabana beach than to Horse Guards Parade, setting for the London 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball competition.
Urged on by an enthusiastic home crowd, Johns and Boulton have produced some of the best volleyball of their careers this week, but they were unable to secure the medal that would have provided the icing on the cake.
Boulton said: “We feel disappointed with the loss today, but looking across the whole week there’s been loads of positives and some real career highs.
“We’ve got two more events on the World Tour in the next couple of weeks so momentum is really important, we’ve definitely been building and building and while results haven’t always been great, in terms of performance we’ve been getting better and better and this week we’ve shown how the hard work we’ve done is paying off and we just need to carry that on for the next couple of weeks and make it count on the World Tour.
“The focus has really been on us this week, but it hasn’t daunted us at all, we’ve really risen to the occasion and the crowd has helped us along and cheered us into making shots and finding that extra inch when needed.”
On the venue she added: “We knew Horse Guards Parade was going to be a special venue for beach volleyball but now we’ve played here we know that next year, with 15,000 fans inside, it’s going to be amazing.”
Johns said: “We’ve had a season of ups and downs so this week has been a big step forward and we just need to carry it on through the next couple of tournaments.
“Beating the Chinese pair was definitely the highlight. We’ve been working really hard on our game so it was great to be able to put everything together in a match like that and we’re very happy with our performance.”
Boulton and Johns will now travel to Finland to join fellow GB pair Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney at the FIVB World Tour event.