England beach volleyball player Jess Grimson has said she has “unfinished business” at the Commonwealth Games as she prepares to return four years after reaching the quarter-finals.
Grimson, 31, and partner Daisy Mumby, 30, secured their qualification eight weeks before the event in Birmingham.
The duo paired up at the end of 2019 and are aiming for a medal at their first major Games together.
“I think the podium is totally achievable,” Grimson told BBC South Today.
“For us as a team, the semi-finals are a goal that we set ourselves, and then once we get to that point, game by game, I think all eyes will be on the podium for sure. “
Beach volleyball made its Commonwealth Games debut in 2018 on Australia’s Gold Coast. At the time, Grimson – who is based in Bournemouth and a four-time British champion – missed the chance to compete for a medal with partner Victoria Palmer.
“For me, last time I have some business to take care of. I still haven’t watched the quarter-final match because it was a huge opportunity that we gave away,” she said.
With the 2022 Games on the horizon, Grimson and Mumby qualified for the final qualifying event at Crystal Palace on May 29, seeded first.
After two more comfortable openers, their final game went to a third-set decider.
“We went into the top seed and knew we could do something – we just had to play good volleyball,” Grimson added.
“I think the experience and the resilience as a team and working with a really good sports psychologist that we have, I think, is what got us over the line.”
After parting ways with Palmer, Grimson approached Mumby – who was playing recreational volleyball in London at the time – in late 2019 to team up.
The duo went to Brazil for a few months to train almost immediately and found their partnership had potential.
However, the Covid-19 lockdowns started almost as soon as they got home and the duo went five months without any sessions together.
Since reuniting later in 2020, their focus has been solely on reaching the Commonwealth Games.
“I think we know each other quite well – we’ve spent a lot of time together,” Mumby told BBC South Today.
“I spent a lot of time in Bournemouth last summer and basically moved in with her [Grimson’s] room with her. We have certainly come to know each other very well over the past two years.
“From not knowing each other at all to suddenly seeing each other almost every day, I’d say we get along really well.”
“She’s very physical, she’s 6ft 2in (1.87m). It’s not something a lot of English teams have,” Grimson said of Mumby.
“One thing that really separates us from other teams is their physique at the net, which is a huge bonus in beach volleyball.”
With their place in the Commonwealth Games certain, the focus now shifts to the competition itself with beach volleyball starting July 30.
The fact that the Games are being held at home in Birmingham this summer provides additional motivation.
“I think it’s going to be huge. I think ticket sales have been pretty good so far and obviously since the London Olympics beach volleyball has had a pretty big boom across the country, so I hope it happens again – kind of reigniting that fire,” Mumby said.
Grimson added: “Playing a second home Games for me personally has that extra special touch.
“Australia have been amazing and they’ve done an amazing job of putting on a major Games and it was my first but I think playing at home in front of friends and family and having a lot of people coming and the public English behind us, I think is going to be really special.”
Twins Javier and Joaquin Bello, who won gold at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, will compete in the men’s competition in Birmingham.