London 2012 - Benson upbeat on volleyball hopes
Andrew Benson insists Britain's Olympic volleyball ambitions have been heightened after their performance at the official London 2012 test event at Earls Court.
The hosts opened their campaign with a win over Mexico before slumping to comprehensive and expected defeats against eventual winners Serbia and Olympic finalists the USA and Brazil.
However, a win against Egypt in their final round-robin match gave Benson some cause of optimism as they look ahead to next summer.
Both the women's and the men's British volleyball teams will target a top eight finish at the 12-team London 2012 competitions - no mean feat judging by their current world rankings well outside the top 50.
That performance was excellent," said Benson, after the win over Egypt, who placed 11th at the last year's Olympics.
"We showed our fight, we've had a few tough games but it all came together in the last one.
"This test event helped a lot because its the first time we've really played teams at this level and in these surroundings so we have an understanding of what its going to be like at the Olympics and a better idea of what we need to work on.
The five-day test event, a small scale Olympic format of 15 matches in a round robin style competition, came to an exciting climax as the Brazilian team beat Olympic champions USA in the final match of the week, taking revenge for their loss in Beijing.
And organisers Locog insist they were happy with the feedback they've received - with volleyball one of only three sports not to sell out after the initial phase of ticketing.
This competition, our fifth test event, was about testing specific elements of our operation and was not a full dress rehearsal," said London 2012 sports director Debbie Jevans.
"It was a good opportunity to look at lighting, the field of play and other operational aspects and it was important to have some of the best athletes in the world competing.
"This venue has a great Olympic history, it was the venue for boxing, weightlifting, wrestling and gymnastics at the 1948 London Games and its fantastic that we can add the London 2012 Olympic volleyball competition to its great history of events.