March 25, 2012 / 11:23 AM / 6 years ago

Bovolenta dies after heart attack on court

REUTERS - Former Italy Olympic silver medallist Vigor Bovolenta has died after suffering a heart attack during a fourth-tier match, the Italian volleyball federation said on Sunday.

File photo of Italy's Vigor Bovolenta at a volleyball match at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 24, 2008. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk/Files

Bovolenta, who was about to turn 38 in May, collapsed on the court during Volley Forli’s visit to Lube Macerata on Saturday.

Attempts by medics to resuscitate Bovolenta failed and he was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.

Bovolenta, father of four children, was part of the Italy team that won silver at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta after a dramatic 3-2 loss to Netherlands in the final.

Towering at 2.02 metres high, Bovolenta was instrumental in helping Italy win the 1995 European championship in Greece and the silver at Euro 2001.

Heart problems in sport have come into focus of late after Bolton Wanderers soccer player Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during an English FA Cup match last weekend. He has made a remarkable recovery and is now in intensive care.

Kilmarnock’s Scottish League Cup final triumph last weekend was also marred by the father of midfielder Liam Kelly suffering a suspected heart attack in the stand and dying.

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Mark Meadows

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