While our beach volleyball FIVB Heroes have just kicked off their new season and the indoor ladies just wrapped up their club campaigns, the indoor men are still finishing their seasons to prepare for the World League and Olympics. For Bartosz Kurek from Poland this year was a “silver-season”.
Kurek, who has been practising with the senior national team since 2007, became a key player in 2009 when Daniel Castellani decided to trust this young wing-spiker after working with him in Belchatow. The young Polish star became a starting player and held his ground even when Castellani left and Andrea Anastasi started working with Poland.
Bartosz has had a successful year so far: with the national team he won bronze at both the World League and European Championships. But there was a time of worry when a few weeks before the World Cup Bartosz suffered from backaches and had to sit out the league match. Doctors discovered his problem and warned him and Anastasi that Kurek might not be able to go to Japan. After a few days of rest and subsequent physiotherapy, Anastasi decided to take our FIVB Hero to Japan, but let him play only if necessary. From the third match against Argentina on, Bartek returned to the court, leading the team on the road to qualification for London. It was he who stopped the Brazilian opposite Leandro Vissotto at the net: his kill block gave Poland one of three first places at the World Cup and its ticket to London!
After the World Cup Bartek came back to Belchatow and helped his club win every title it competed for. Kurek won his third Polish Cup in the four seasons he’s been playing for Skra, followed by a silver medal in Champions League after a thrilling five-set match against Zenit Kazan and the Best Spiker award. For his team that was a disappointment, but for Skra every defeat is a motivation. Hungry for victory, Bartosz Kurek won the semifinal against another FIVB Hero: Zbingiew Bartman and his team Jastrzebski Wegiel, but failed against Resovia Rzeszow, grabbing his third silver medal. Maybe in the upcoming season Kurek will finally stand on top of the podium?
We will find out very soon!