PR67 - Nineteen teams from five continents to face-off in Sibenik (CRO) this weekend
The best junior water polo players in the world are poised to battle it out in Sibenik, Croatia for the title of the 15th FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships 2009, which takes place from August 22-30. The official competition and training venue for the event is the “Crnica” Swimming Pool, where games will be held outdoors. Five days of preliminary group play among the teams (with an average of seven games per day) will be held from August 22-26, before the cross-over and final games will be held from August 27-30.
The Draw for the competition determined the following team groupings will take to the pool :
|Group A||Group B|
|A1 Montenegro (MNE)||B1 Hungary (HUN)|
|A2 Puerto Rico (PUR)||B2 Uzbekistan (UZB)|
|A3 Iran (IRI)||B3 Brazil (BRA)|
|A4 Egypt (EGY)||B4 New Zealand (NZL)|
|A5 Greece (GRE)||B5 Italy (ITA)|
|Group C||Group D|
|C1 South Africa (RSA)||D1 Croatia (CRO)|
|C2 United States (USA)||D2 Slovakia (SVK)|
|C3 Spain (ESP)||D3 Canada (CAN)|
|C4 Serbia (SRB)||D4 France (FRA)|
|D5 Australia (AUS)|
Historically-speaking, the most successful nation in this event is Spain (with three titles from 1983, 1987 and 1991, as well as a silver and bronze from 1993 and 2005 respectively). However, the defending champion from the 2007 edition in Los Alamitos (USA) is Hungary, which was also the winning team in 1995, silver medallists in 1985, 1997 and 2003, and bronze medallists in 1981, 1991, 1993 and 2001. The Italian team has also been a significant presence at this competition, winning two crowns in 1993 and 1999, and, more significantly, bronze in 2003 and silver in 2007. Finally, neither Serbia nor Montenegro can be underestimated. United, they took the gold in 2003 and 2005. Now, playing as individual nations, they are no less powerful as independent entities.
In its history, ten different countries spanning five continents have hosted this vibrant competition, which has played a vital role in the promotion and development of water polo worldwide.