Vadim Khamuttskikh won medals at three Olympic Games ©Getty Images

Three-time Olympic volleyball medallist Vadim Khamuttskikh has died unexpectedly at the age of 52.

Khamuttskikh, widely acclaimed as one of the best setters to have played the sport, won a silver medal as a member of the Russian men's team at Sydney 2000.

Russia and Khamuttskikh went on to win bronze medals at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

Khamuttskikh was also in the Russian teams that won a European Championship silver medal on home courts in 2007, being named the tournament's best setter, and a World Championship silver medal in Argentina in 2002.

A European bronze medal was also won in 2001, while at club level he twice won the European Volleyball Confederation Champions League with Belogorie Belgorod.

Khamuttskikh had been a coach for Belogorie at the time of his death.

He died unexpectedly on Friday (December 31) and a memorial service is being organised by the club tomorrow.

Belgorie's players entered the  court for a match today earing jerseys bearing the number nine in memory of Khamuttskikh.