Lausanne, Switzerland, January 23, 2017 – Poland’s men’s beach volleyball teams are using the start of a new four-year Olympic cycle to change their team pairings around as they chase success in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour and the 2017 and 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
The big change comes in the split of Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel, their leading duo for the last decade and a pair who competed together since the 2006 FIVB U21 World Championships. They also won one gold, four silver and five bronze together on the World Tour and competed at the London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
Prudel will now play alongside Kacper Kujawiak, while Fijalek will team up with Michal Bryl.
The only team that will remain are Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak, who won their first World Tour gold in 2016 at the Rio de Janeiro Grand Slam and made their Olympic debuts at Rio 2016. They have long been tipped for success at senior level after they won the World Championships at U19, U21 and U23 level, while Poland’s other men’s teams is Jakub Szalankiewicz/Maciej Rudol.
The first World Tour competition is just over two weeks away with the Fort Lauderdale Major Series to open the season from February 7-12. The Polish teams are currently hard at work preparing in Fuertaventura.
“It is time to freshen the teams up and mix young players with experienced players,” head coach Grzegorz Klimek said.
“We have big goals and want to take four teams to the World Championships in Vienna and the European Championships in Jurmala (Latvia). Poland is known for its development of young players and we have kept two teams in the top 10, but we want more and a medal at Tokyo 2020 would be great.”
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Bartosz Losiak (left) and Piotr Kantor celebrate winning gold at the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Rio Grand Slam