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Triumphant Poland gain first ever World League medal after winning bronze

Bartosz Kurek of Poland is unstoppable
Gdansk, Poland, July 10, 2011 - Wild celebrations at the Ergo Arena after Poland ran out emphatic 3-0 winners against Argentina to win the bronze medal at the FIVB World League Finals.

Jakub Jarosz of Poland was the best scorer with 17 points, followed by Argentina's Facundo Conte (14 points).

Neither team had ever won a World League medal and from the beginning of the match it was obvious that neither was going to easily give up the chance to walk away  as a winner. Poland gained an advantage at 6-3 led by the top scorer of the competition so far Bartosz Kurek. They maintained the lead and Argentina's head coach, Javier Weber called timeout at 10-7. That didn't knock Poland's out of their rhythm though, and they stayed focused keeping a firm grip of their advantage. The Argentinians seemed to have some communication problems between each other and were distracted as they fell six points behind (13-19). The Poles safely carried the lead till the end of the set and took it 25-18.

Thousands of Polish fans gathered in the Ergo Arena and – some have called them “the thirteenth member of Poland's team” - continued helping their team as they jumped ahead to 6-3 in the second set as well. The Poles were better in every element and they stayed in control. However, Argentina managed to tie the score at 17-17 and it stayed close. The Poles took the lead in the end and picked up the set 25-23.

The third set started tightly as Argentina showed huge determination to take control. They were the ones leading – for the first time in this match - at the first TTO. They stayed ahead and at 13-10 Poland's coach Andrea Anastasi called a timeout. When Michal Kubiak replaced Michal Ruciak as the receiver, his kills – done from very difficult positions - gave Poland the advantage at the second TTO (16-15). Bartosz Kurek sealed the deal with an ace and the Polish team extended its lead to 18-15. Argentina briefly got closer hauling the score back to 21-20 and then again at 22-21 follwoing a change of decision by the referee, but Poland kept their nerve. The fans boosted the team as they reached match point and with Argetina serving the tension proved too much for for Lucas Ocampo whose service fault, handed a famous victory to the hosts.


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