Apart from Poland, the national teams of Russia, the Czech Republic and more recently Italy have decided to join the ninth edition of the international tournament dedicated to the memory of 1976 Olympic champion Hubert Jerzy Wagner that will run through August 26-28 at the splendid “Spodek” sports hall in Katowice.
This event will be the very last chance for all teams to test their condition and ambitions before the start of the 2011 CEV European Volleyball Championship to be staged in Austria and in the Czech Republic. The Italians are the last addition to the starting field of the “Memorial Wagner”: after they finished fourth at last year’s FIVB World Championship, their head coach Andrea Anastasi moved to Poland to mentor there the guys in red and white jerseys, so Mauro Berruto was appointed by the Italian Federation to drive the “Azzurri” to some more international glory. As for the final round of the 2011 CEV European Volleyball Championship, Italy will be playing in Pool C, together with 2009 silver medalist France, plus Belgium and Finland.
The “Memorial Wagner” will be organized for the first time in history in Katowice and will follow another major international event to be held in Poland this coming summer, i.e. the final round of the 2011 FIVB World League that will run through July 6-10 at the brand new “Ergo Arena” in Gdansk.