SPORTS

Polish international transfers to Greens as Reds get Tischer

Panathinaikos announced yesterday the acquisition of Polish international setter Pawel Zagumny for the coming volleyball season. Zagumny is one of the most experienced setters in the world, having played in the Italian and Polish championships as well as in world championships and at the Olympics. He was voted the best setter of last summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing. Zagumny began playing in 1992 with the MKS MDK Warszawa volleyball junior club. In 1995, at age 18, he was transferred to professional team Czarni Radom, where he played for two years. With Czarni Radom, Zagumny won the Polish Championship in 1996 and came in second place in 1997. Next, he played for Bosman Morze Szczecin for three years. In 2000, he was transferred to Italian club Edilbasso Padua, where he stayed for three years. Afterward, he moved back to Poland, playing for Mlekpol AZS Olsztyn. In 2006, he was named best setter at the World Championships in Japan and the following year he was presented with the Best Setter award of the World League in Katowice, Poland. The 32-year-old Polish star yesterday signed his one-year contract with Panathinaikos. He will be replacing Frank Depestele, the Belgian setter who is leaving the club. Champion Olympiakos has also brought in a foreign setter, none other than Iraklis’s Simon Tischer. The German set Iraklis on its way to the final of the Champions League in Prague this spring, but will continue his career in Piraeus. This poses a question over the future of Greece setter Vassilis Kournetas, who may now be forced to leave Olympiakos after 13 years of service to the Reds. Kournetas, along with the rest of the Greece squad, is in Portugal where the national team today enters the first qualifying round for the 2010 World Championship in Italy. Greece will be in a group of five teams; the top three advance to the next round. The Greek team starts against Slovenia and tomorrow faces the hosts, Portugal, at Povoa de Varzim. Two wins in four matches should see Greece through.