LYNNE Beattie captained Team GB’s women’s volleyball team to an historic victory in the early hours of Tuesday morning as they claimed their maiden Olympic win against Algeria.
In front of a jubilant crowd at Earl’s Court in London, Beattie’s side defied the odds as the squad, ranked 69 in the world, defeated a vastly experienced Algerian outfit who sit 16th in the world rankings.
Despite spending the last two years without funding and enduring the last three without any top level experience, Team GB put their opening round robin defeat to Russia on Saturday behind them as they twice came from behind to sink the Algerians 3-2.
The match began at close to 10.30pm on Monday evening and only around 12.45am on the Tuesday did the Brits secure their first ever win at an Olympic Games.
In a tight contest lasting over two hours, Team GB prevailed after a final set decider.
Perhaps unfortunate to lose the first set 22-25, an inspired Beattie, who claimed 19 points in total during the match, claimed the decisive point in the second set as GB secured their first-ever set on this stage.
In the third set the Brits let an advantage slip and lost it 23-25, but, undeterred, they roared back when the chips were down to win the fourth 25-19 and then secure the deciding set by a comfortable 15-8 margin.
And for Eaglesham’s Olympic star – who has funded her build-up and travelled all over Europe in preparation for the Games – it means so much.
Beattie beamed: “I feel absolutely amazing.
“To get a win at the Olympic Games, from where this team has come from – we can be very proud of the result.
“Algeria came out fighting, but we showed a lot of character and resilience to come back and to win a fifth set at the Olympics is fantastic.
“Our families have been a huge part of it. There have been so many highs and lows over the last six years of our journey but they have been there to back us up when times have been tough, so to get a win is fantastic for everyone.”
The hosts will now face unbeaten Italy tonight (Wednesday) knowing that a win will secure their place in next week’s quarter-finals.
However, even if they lose they will still have two chances to qualify with round robin matches against Dominican Republic and Japan still to come.
And Beattie believes they can make it through.
“The next three games we are going after the win. We believe we can beat them and we can't wait to get after them,” the 26-year-old added.