Volleyball pair Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney can 'set the standard' for future Team GB competitors


Shauna Mullin believes both she and Team GB team-mate Zara Dampney can take advantage of playing with the pressure off when they kick off their Olympic beach volleyball campaign in the heart of London next week.

With just days until the start of the event on Horse Guards Parade - which features 48 teams across the men's and women's competitions playing across 13 days - tension would ordinarily be high in the ranks of the host nation's representatives.

Yet it is no secret that Britain's past form in Olympic beach volleyball tournaments is far from stellar - with players from these shores making just one previous appearance, back in Atlanta in 1996 on the sport's maiden outing at the Games.

And with no recent yardstick against which to be judged, Mullin is confident conditions are perfect for the British duo to "set the standard" for future Olympic appearances.

"Beach volleyball in the UK is not very well known, not very big," Mullin told Press Association Sport. "We've not had a team at the Olympics since 1996, so that pressure that other sports might be feeling, we don't really feel - in terms of having an Olympic reputation, or the need to match previous Olympic results.

"We're in a really good place because we're here to set the reputation; we're here to set the standard for British beach volleyball at Olympic level."

Mullin insists, however, that there is no danger of complacency creeping in, with their committed camp - headed up by coach Morph Bowes - doing everything they can to ensure the best possible result at the 15,000-capacity Horse Guards Parade venue.

"In terms of pressure to get a certain result, I don't think we have that," she said. "But for us - between us and in our team - the pressure to perform at the level we know we can is what we are feeling.

"We've been working towards this for a long time. Now that we're here we need to embrace it, we need to be comfortable with it and just be ready to get on the sand, have a good time and perform."

Dampney, meanwhile, reckons she and Mullin can make London 2012 just the start of their Olympic journey, and is optimistic their moment in the spotlight will lead on to sealing a place on merit at the Rio Games in 2016.

"In terms of beach volleyball, Shauna and I are still quite young, quite inexperienced in terms of how long we've been playing," she said.

"There's definitely another Olympics in us and we want to get as much as we can from this experience to be able to build towards 2016 and hopefully put beach volleyball on the map in the UK."

Dampney and Mullin last night learned they have been drawn in Pool F for the opening phase of the Olympic tournament, alongside Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti of Italy, Russia's Ekaterina Khomyakova and Evgenia Ukolova, and Marie-Andree Lessard and Annie Martin of Canada.

In the men's draw, Team GB duo John Garcia-Thompson and Steven Grotowski will also contest Pool F, together with Brazil's Pedro Cunha and Ricardo Santos, Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr of Norway, and Canada's Josh Binstock and Martin Reader.


Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits