Women’s beach volleyball duo Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin won their opening match against Canada at Horse Guards Parade today.
The British pair, who are ranked sixth, came from a set down to beat Canadians Marie-Andree Lessard and Annie Martin 17-21, 21-14, 15-13.
Olympic debutants Mullin and Dampney were over the moon with their performance despite a nervy start.
“It’s absolutely amazing win,” said Mullin. “To bring home a win for GB was amazing. The crowd just kept us going. It would have been an amazing occasion whether we won or lost.”
Dampney added: “I lived every point and all the ups and downs. We were a little bit nervous at the start and needed to keep building after the first set. We just needed to remain calm and then we won the second set and took it into the third set.”
The pair, who came 17th at last year’s World Championships, have a day off before taking on Italy on Tuesday.
We had to make it a dramatic one! It was really enjoyable to win our first match. The Canadians really put up a good fight and made us work really hard for it.
I think we knew what we needed to do and we just had to remain calm, at that point it wasn’t working as best as possible but we had to remain calm keep the communication there – like what was going wrong what we could improve on and in that situation we just had to take each point as it comes
Shauna – on match point
Yeah we just thought this is any point, it’s just one point don’t pile any more pressure on ourselves, obviously whatever happens we will battle to the end so yes it was about remaining calm.
Zara – on the support
It was unbelievable I don’t even know how to describe it, the whole thing has just kind of flown by but it was the most unbelievable experience, and can’t wait to do it again on Tuesday. Obviously with everyone behind us we’re playing for 15,000 people! A crowd like that definitely makes a difference – send you over the edge – gets you that one more block, one more dig, definitely makes you serve tougher.
Shauna on the venue
It’s amazing for Beach Volleyball which isn’t a big sport in the UK to be right in the centre of London in one of the best locations in the Olympics, for us personally it’s amazing to see the London skyline know we’re in the heart of London.