AS the countdown continues to the start of the 2012 London Olympics, the focus was on south Lowestoft today as the popular annual beach volleyball tournament was held.

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Teams from Norwich, Ipswich and Waveney battled it out on the beach - and with the sun shining to draw the crowds, the tournament was hailed as another “brilliant” success by organisers.

A total of 24 teams competed across the courts, with novices, intermediate level and elite players all catered for. Open to men and women, the mixed teams of three players battled it out on the courts with sides from “all over Norfolk and Suffolk” competing in 20 minutes matches.

The tournament ran from 9.30am to about 4pm today on Lowestoft’s south beach, with five courts transforming the sands just south of the Claremont Pier.

And after some closely-fought action the final matches provided some tense competition - with digs, sets and spikes aplenty!

At novice level, Drifters I faced Battenburg Bashers. Calm Down, a team from Norwich, took on Two Hornets and a Bee in the Intermediate final while it was an all-Norwich affair in the Elite final with Spikers III taking on Pegasus.

One of the organisers, Terry Watson, said: “We have definitely had a brilliant day. I think the Olympics does create interest but most of the people we have here are regulars, as we have been doing it for so long.

“The tournament has been running for more than 20 years, and it does attract teams from across Ipswich, Norwich and closer. We have a good spread of teams from elite to novice level and there a few national league players here today, along with many who play in the Norwich and Ipswich leagues - so it is a reasonable standard.”

And with the weather providing a stunning spectacle, Mr Watson added: “What could be better than a day on the beach in the sunshine playing and enjoying the volleyball.”

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