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Phil-SmithPhil Smith represented England in the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup in Turkey helping to secure a place in the next round of Olympic Games qualifiers.

An MSc Sports Management student and sportBU staff member, Phil was part of the four-man England Beach Volleyball Squad who competed in the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) Continental Cup round three in Turkey this May. The competition forms part of the qualification method for the 2016 Rio Olympics and pitted England against Turkey, Croatia and Latvia.

Phil and his partner Gregg Weaver beat the top ranked Croatian team with their England team mates Jake Sheaf and Chris Gregory also winning. An upset in which Turkey beat pre-tournament favourites Latvia meant England had the tough task of facing Latvia to determine whether they brought home the silver or the bronze medal.

Phil and Gregg played the top Latvian pairing of Plavins and Smedins, who were the Bronze Medalists in the London 2012 Olympic Games. However, Latvians’ skill and experience proved too much and they won 2-0, leaving England in third place. The bronze placing ensures that the England team progress through to round four of Olympic Qualifying later in the summer.

Commenting on their achievement, Phil said, “Our goal was to ensure that we progressed through, so we are happy we achieved that. We played a good match against Croatia and it was a good experience playing Latvia, one of the top teams in the world. We look to build on this experience now and start our preparations for the next round.”

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Originally published on BU News.

To hear more about Phil’s story, read his blog post.