London 2012 Olympics: Mullin and Dampney’s Olympic adventure has boosted beach volleyball

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SHAUNA MULLIN’S time at London 2012 might have come to an end but the Edinburgh beach volleyball star hopes this isn’t the last we have seen of her in London.

The 27-year-old from Edinburgh and partner Zara Dampney took to Horse Guards Parade in a winner-takes-all ‘lucky loser’ match with Austria last night, with the victor handed a reprieve and a place in the final 16. The Great Britain duo hadn’t tasted victory since their opener against Canada but things looked good as they won the toss and raced into an early 3-0 lead in the first set.

But the experience of Austrian sisters Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger pulled them through in the end, Dampney and Mullin going down in straight sets and forced to wave goodbye to London 2012.

Despite their exit from London 2012 at the group stages, the Games have been a success for Dampney and Mullin as they brought the sport into the public eye. And Mullin admitted her adventure will take some beating.

“We did win a match at our first Olympics which is great and the atmosphere of being out there will live with us for the rest of our lives,” she added.

“It is absolutely mind blowing when you are out there and it is really humbling the support we have had.” And, with the sport having captured the nation’s imagination, Dampney is adamant the legacy of beach volleyball needs to live on.

“We gave it our all but the Austrians are good and in the end they were just too strong for us and that is disappointing,” she said. “But even though this is it for our London adventure we would love to see an event like this staged every year, we think it would be fantastic.

“There are obviously tours that go around the world and most of them are in city centres like this and with the reception the sport has got I think the public would love to have an event over here.

“Hopefully the Olympics is a springboard for bigger and better things for beach volleyball in this country.”

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