Italy surprisingly has struggled a bit in this year's FIVB World Championships, and the road to success hasn't gotten any easier with the injury to star opposite hitter Zaytsev. He rolled his ankle in an awkward landing against the U.S. in the final 1st round match on September 7th, and has since been ruled out for the rest of the tournament. Zaytsev, born to Russian parents in Italy, won a silver medal in the '12 Olympics, and coming into the World Championships has played 130 matches with the Italian national team. He leads the team in spikes, and his absence would certainly cast a bit of a cloud over the team's chances to move onto the 3rd round from an already difficult group containing heavy hitters USA, France, Argentina, Poland, and Iran. Regardless, here's wishing this 25 year-old and stalwart team leader a speedy recovery.
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At Rio 2016's Barra Olympic Park
Header: Kallimamaro stadium in Athens, site of the first modern Olympics in 1896