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Beach volleyball returns to London

Zara Dampney and teammate Lucy Boulton on court. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire Zara Dampney and teammate Lucy Boulton on court. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Monday, July 29, 2013
10:29 AM

Aspiring beach volleyball stars cooked up a (sand)storm in central London over the weekend as the sport returned to the capital exactly one year on from the event’s first contests at London 2012.

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Picture: John Stillwell/PA WirePicture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

At a specially-built temporary court in Covent Garden on Saturday, Olympian Zara Dampney and teammate Lucy Boulton joined men’s a women’s teams competing to win a trip to Mexico.

Players dived energetically around the court as spectators sipped drinks in the sun, reviving the spirit of last year’s Games.

“With beach volleyball having been one of the biggest hits of 2012, it’s great to be part of #coronalondon and to get a glimpse of the next generation of players,” said Zara.

“Beach Volleyball is a sport anyone can play.”

Picture: John Stillwell/PA WirePicture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The #coronalondon event was hosted by beer producer Corona Extra. Ahead of the event, the group’s Andy Cray said: “Last summer was very special for Londoners and we’re hoping to reignite that spirit a year on.”

Last year Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall was transformed into a 15,000 seater beach volleyball arena, where spectactors ultimately saw an American team triumph in the women’s event and Germany take home gold in the men’s.

Organisers pledged the sand would be used following the Games to build 36 new courts within the M25, fuelling London 2012’s sporting legacy.

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