London 2012

Press release

Horse Guards Parade transformed into beach ahead of test event

Sand begins to arrive at the iconic Horse Guards Parade in London, the venue for the Visa FIVB Beach Volleyball International Olympic test event in August

London, Great Britain, July 22, 2011 – Horse Guards Parade, the site for the London 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball tournament, received a special delivery on Thursday as the first trucks of sand were delivered to the venue ahead of the Visa FIVB Beach Volleyball International which takes place from August 9 to 14.

A total of 120 trucks delivered 2,274 tons of sand throughout the day to fill the one competition court, two warm up courts and two training courts as anticipation for the beach volleyball event continues to build.

Following the Visa FIVB Beach Volleyball International the sand will be reused by Volleyball England at their training venues around the UK.

The tournament, which is part of the London Prepares series, is a test event to rehearse arrangements for the Olympic Beach Volleyball competition in 2012, which is already sold out after becoming one of the most sought after ticket for the Games. The event in August will play host to some world class teams and players including 2009 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch world champions Jennifer Kessy and April Ross from USA, Sydney Olympic gold medal winner and one half of the Australian team Natalie Cook, and Beijing bronze medal duo Zhang Xi and Xue Chen from China, who also recently secured the bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships in Rome.

“Today is very exciting for LOCOG and all our beach volleyball partners,” LOCOG 2012 Director of Sport Debbie Jevans said. “Beach volleyball is no doubt one of the most anticipated and exciting events in the test event and Olympic calendar. Horse Guards Parade is an iconic central London venue while the sport itself is dynamic and great to watch. That, coupled with 24 of the best teams in the world here to compete in just over two weeks time, is a winning combination that we’re all excited to see. The sand coming in today is a tangible sign that we are getting ready to host not only the test event but also the world’s greatest event next year.”

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