Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 29, 2016 – Few teams have ever achieved a World Championship and Olympic title in the same quadrennial, and if Poland are hoping to repeat the heroics of the legendary team from the 1970s they will need the talismanic Bartosz Kurek to be at the top of his game.
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He may have missed out on Poland’s sensational gold medal run at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in 2014, but there is no denying that the 27-year-old’s presence greatly bolsters what is already a talented group of athletes.
First called up to the team in 2009 for their successful European Championship campaign, Kurek’s breakout season came in 2011. That year he helped Poland take bronze at the FIVB Volleyball World League, topping the scoring charts at the same time by just one point, his tally of 103 holding off Russia’s Maxim Mikhaylov. He followed this up with silver at the World Cup and a gold medal at the following year’s World League, being named MVP.
He went on to represent his country at the London 2012 Olympic Games but it was a disappointing campaign with the Poles thwarted by Russia in straight sets at the quarterfinal stage.
But with four more years’ experience and a rotation that can rival any team on their day, Kurek could very easily make up for that in Rio.