NI Beach Squad

GB Pair Johns and Boulton Reach 2012 Test Event Semi Finals

British beach volleyball duo Denise Johns and Lucy Boulton have beaten China’s Olympic bronze medallists and World ranked number four pair Xue and Zhang Xi in straight sets to reach the semi finals of the London Prepares test event.

Denise Johns from Great Britain celebrates

The win is a major scalp for the British pair who secured a 21-19, 21-18 victory in front of a full house at the London 2012 Olympic venue on Horse Guards parade.

Xi Zhang from China stretches for the Mikasa

A delighted Lucy Boulton said: “I dreamt about that win last night. Our tournament just keeps getting better. We thought last night was one of the best wins of our lives with this great atmosphere and our performance, but to beat opposition as good as the Chinese Olympic medallists today is very special. They’re a fantastic pair, really skilful and they’ve won big events so we came out thinking the pressure was off us and we just wanted to put in a good performance and hope it would be enough, and today it was. We don’t often get the opportunity to play a pair as good as them, so it was a good opportunity, and to win was just beyond our imagination.

Commenting on the support from the home crowd she added: “The crowd are amazing. They were really good last night and they were just as good today. It’s a bit of a different crowd today with more families and it’s great for us to showcase the sport. If we can keep playing like that hopefully they’ll come back to see us tomorrow and really spark the interest in the sport.”

Denise Johns said: “It was pretty amazing out there and we’re really happy to win that one. Our preparation for this tournament has been really good, we’ve focussed on what we need to work on, and it’s obviously working. We communicated really well today. The challenge of playing against top pairs like the Chinese sparks our adrenaline and brings out the best in us and helps us play that little bit better.”

They will now face either Kessy and Ross from USA or Mexico’s Candelas and Garcia in tomorrow’s semi final.

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