GB beach volleyball teams granted 2012 Olympic places
One men’s and women’s pairing will be allowed to take part in the competition which runs from 28 July to 9 August at Horse Guards Parade.
A second team can join them if they attain a top-16 world ranking before the end of the end of June 2012.
The news is a boost for the men, in particular, after they lost funding.
British Volleyball took the decision to cut financial support for the men’s beach volleyball team and the women’s indoor team after it was one of eight sports to suffer from UK Sport’s budget shortfall in 2009 .
But there could be a chance that two women’s teams are entered given that the two best pairings of Denise Johns and Lucy Boulton and Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney are ranked 40th and 61st in the world respectively.
Johns said: “It is fantastic news that the British Olympic Association has recognised our potential to achieve our very best at London 2012.
“But we haven’t finished yet. Our dream is to vindicate the incredibly hard work we have been doing and make sure not just one but both teams play in London.”
Mullin added: “We’re delighted to hear that a GB women’s team is now guaranteed the opportunity to utilise a host nation place at the London Olympics.
“We have worked so hard, for so long, to represent our country in Horse Guards Parade, it is the greatest incentive we could possibly have for the coming season.”
The decision was made following a comprehensive consultation with the British Volleyball Federation.
The utilisation of the Host Nation Places is subject to the GB players meeting the National Governing Body‘s Olympic selection criteria, which will be agreed with the BOA Olympic Qualifying Standards Panel in the coming months.
BOA director of sport and Team GB deputy chef de mission Clive Woodward added: “Beach volleyball is a fast, tactical and dynamic sport and we are very pleased that Britain’s best players now have the opportunity to earn their place and showcase their talent on the biggest stage of all.
“British Volleyball has demonstrated to us their plans to use the London 2012 Olympics as a springboard for the long-term future development of the sport in the UK and there will be no better opportunity to create a step change in participation than London 2012.
“It would be a very special moment to see the Union Jack flags being waved in support of British athletes as they walk onto the sand on Horse Guards Parade, within eyesight of some of London’s most iconic landmarks.”
The BOA has now confirmed that beach volleyball, basketball, table tennis, judo, handball, indoor volleyball, water polo and weightlifting will be able to take up Home Nation Places at the London 2012 Olympic Games.