On Saturday, the Polish national volleyball team will play the match for the gold medal of the European Championships. The White and Reds will fight for the title against the hosts in Rome. The date of September 16 has a unique meaning for Polish volleyball fans. In 2005, at the same calendar point, the Polish volleyball representative Arkadiusz Gołości tragically died.
On Saturday evening, the White and Reds will have a chance to win the title of European champions for the second time in history. The White and Reds managed to do this only once, in 2009. If we look at recent history, Polish volleyball players have been waiting for a place in the final of the game for the title of the best team on the Old Continent for fourteen years. They came from the last two European Championship tournaments with bronze medals around their necks.
Arkadiusz Gołości will “play” with the Polish national volleyball team
The final match between Italy and Poland will be played on a special day for Polish volleyball. On September 16, 2005, a tragic accident occurred in Klagenfurt, Austria. A young Gołaś couple was traveling from Częstochowa to Macerata, Italy. Agnieszka and Arkadiusz got married at the end of July.
The center of the Polish national team, the star of the national competition, who was going to the new club Lube Banca Macerata, died on the spot. He was sleeping in the right seat, tired from the all-night journey. His wife, Agnieszka, was behind the wheel. The Toyota crashed into the concrete base of the soundproofing wall. The volleyball player died when he was only 24 years old.
Polish volleyball players will certainly be able to count on special power in Sunday’s final, coming from the much-lamented volleyball player. In 2005, Gołości fought for the Polish national team in Rome. Jerzy Mielewski, a well-known journalist of Polsat Sport, mentioned this when reacting to my entry, quoting Piotr Gruszka. MVP of the 2009 gold tournament.
“Moving… in addition, as Piotr Gruszka recalls, the last tournament played by Arek Gołości in the national team, with 16 players on his back, it was the European Championships, it was Rome and it was this hall… #finaldlaArka” – reacted the journalist who was in the capital of Italy for the European Championships 2023.
A few weeks earlier, in mid-July 2005, Gołości played in the World Cup qualifiers, which took place in Japan a year later. In which the Poles won silver, starting a beautiful volleyball period in Poland, which actually lasts until now. And on the podium, the Poles, losing to the unattainable Brazilians (0:3), were still the winners. They remembered their tragically deceased colleague and friend, walking on the podium wearing T-shirts with the number “16”, the one with which Gołości played.
The shirt with the number 16 in the squad was later worn by Gołaś’s greatest friend, Krzysztof Ignaczak. In the current team, number 16 belongs to the receiver Kamil Semeniuk, one of the members of coach Nikola Grbic’s team. Sixteen is still with the national team.
Italy – Poland, what time and where to watch the European Championship 2023 final?
A repeat of the World Cup final from last year in the European Championship final? Such things are happening before our eyes in men’s volleyball. The Italians will face the Poles again. A year ago, in Spodek in Katowice, Italia defeated the hosts 3:1, and the winner could have been… former coach of the White and Reds, Ferdinando De Giorgi.
What will it be like in the case of European Championship 2023? The Italians are defending the title they won two years ago, interestingly, also in Spodek. The Italy-Poland match will start at 9:00 p.m. at the Palazzetto dello Sport in Rome. From 5:30 p.m., the current European vice-champions, Slovenians and French, i.e. Olympic champions, will fight for bronze medals.
The Italy-Poland match for the European Championship 2023 gold will be broadcast on Polsat Sport and TVP Sport. The online broadcast will be available on the TVP Sport website and via the Polsat Box Go platform.