Great Britain men finish with heads held high
8th September 2012
Great Britain's men finished 8th overall in the Paralympic Sitting Volleyball tournament, after a straight-sets defeat to China at the ExCeL this afternoon (Friday).
As with Wednesday's match against Paralympic champions Iran, they looked the better side for periods, and could easily have taken third set, which was level at 22-22 before the Chinese scored three quick points to seal victory.
GB secured victory over Morocco in the group stages, to secure a quarter-final place.
"We've come a long way - two years ago we were losing to Morocco and they have ended up last in the tournament," said James Roberts, who switched to Sitting Volleyball from Rowing after the Beijing Paralympics because of disability classification changes.
"It's been great to have the home support. I had no idea we would have this kind of support day-in and day-out and we're truly grateful for that," added Roberts, from Prestatyn.
Both GB's Sitting Volleyball teams were disbanded in 1991 and only reinstated after London won the bid to host the 2012 Games and Captain Rob Richardson said: "Finishing eight was a massive achievement.
“We targeted the Morocco match - as a team they are ranked above us but we thought we had the game to beat them and we won that, which was great.
“We got ourselves into the quarter-finals and I think we played a superb game against Iran.
Londoner Richardson added: “Maybe we were a little bit greedy in that we wanted to beat Brazil or one of those top-ranked teams. Unfortunately we weren't able to do that but I have no doubt we will be doing that in months to come, not years to come.
"We've got people playing in our team who have only been playing for three years whereas China have got people who've been playing 15 or 20 years and that's the same for every other team out there.
“So what we've done in a short space of time is quite amazing really."