FINA Water Polo World League
Since 2002, the world’s best water polo national teams meet each year and compete against one another in the sport’s first global league.
From 2014 on, the competition formula comprises two preliminary tournaments: one in Europe with a series of “home and away” games and an Intercontinental Tournament with the participation of teams from Africa, Americas, Asia and Oceania.
A Super Final for both the men’s and women’s league is organised with the eight qualifying teams of the preliminaries. A total prize money of US$ 345'000 (men) and US$ 202'500 (women) is distributed.
After thrilling Super Finals in Kunshan (CHN) and Dubai (UAE), the 2015 editions will be held in Bergamo (ITA) from June 23-28 for the men's and June 9-14 in Shanghai (CHN) for the women's.
Super Final 2013 (Men): Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia and USA in the semis
CHELYABINSK, Russia (June 14) – The thrilling penalty shootouts have become essential part of this World League Super Final: we’ve already have seen five, the last two now in the quarter finals. Both quarter final games featuring the second and third placed teams ended in a shootout with the United States and Montenegro prevailing. Though it’s worth mentioning that China was never so close to reach the semis and the host team Russia was also five metres from the door of the best four. In the other two games the respective group-winners – Serbia and Hungary – reached the semis easily, so Saturday will see a rematch of the prelims (USA vs. Hungary) and a clash of the former allies (Serbia vs. Montenegro).
Super Final 2013 (Men): Hungary and Serbia top respective groups
CHELYABINSK, Russia (June 13) – Hungary and Serbia earned the respective top spots at the end of the preliminaries. After two days of extreme excitement, Group A ties became rather one-sided battles as both Montenegro and Hungary came up with their best and that was unmatchable for the young U.S. and Japanese teams this time. The game between Montenegro and USA brought an outstanding individual performance, an absolute rarity in today’s elite water polo: Montenegrin Darko Brguljan scored three amazing goals within a span of 80 seconds, at the most crucial stage of the game.
In Group B the other European giant, Serbia enjoyed another easy cruise, this time against Brazil. And finally the day offered at least one thrilling encounter, between Russia and China. And it was not just a thrilling clash but turned into a historical one as China managed to beat the Russians for the first time ever.
Super Final 2013 (Men): Japan almost caught the US, second shootout loss for Montenegro
CHELYABINSK, Russia (June 12) - Group A cannot provide one-sided battles! After Day One’s two great clashes – both ended in shootouts – we have two more thrillers in Chelyabinsk at the FINA Water Polo World League Super Final. The U.S. team scored the winner in the last minute against Japan and later Hungary staged another comeback and beat Montenegro in a penalty shootout.
The matches in Group B offered less excitement as China thrashed Brazil and Serbia upended Russia in a 25-goal encounter and already clinched the first place of the group.
Super Final 2013 (Men): Japan makes history by upsetting Montenegro
CHELYABINSK, Russia (June 11) - What a day to start the World League Super Final in Chelyabinsk! Japan’s win over Montenegro is one of the biggest upsets ever in the history of the FINA World League Super Finals. It was a historic win for Japan – in the shootout –, the first great triumph in a big tournament against a top-ranked European team (Montenegro was 4th in London and came runner-up at the European Championships).
There was another penalty shootout which saw the USA beating Hungary, also a bit surprisingly. Group A had much calmer matches, Serbia easily overcame China while the host Russians made their fans happy by scoring an easy win against Brazil.
Super Final 2013 (Women): China wins historic first international crown
BEIJING, China (June 6) - China beat Russia 8-7 for its first international senior women’s crown on the final day of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final at the Water Cube in Beijing. China was never headed, but had to fend off a resilient, youthful Russia all the way, en route to its first FINA World League medal and in front of several thousand adoring fans. For Russia it was a second silver to go with gold and bronze from previous editions.
Two Russian coaches steered the teams to the final with former Russian women’s coach Alexander KLEYMENOV at the head of China’s fortunes. New Russian coach Mikhail NAKORYAKOV has tasted gold before, as head coach of the Russian youth team in Siberia in 2009.
Super Final 2013 (Women): China-Russia Super Final gold-medal clash
BEIJING, China (June 5) - China will play Russia for gold on day 6 of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final at the Water Cube in Beijing on Thursday. China thrilled a huge crowd with a 9-7 victory over Olympic champion United States of America in the first semifinal and Russia outlasted Hungary 12-9 in the other.
Remarkably, such is the closeness and competitiveness of this tournament that Russia was winless after the three days of group matches and China, despite two victories, only finished third in its group.
Super Final 2013 (Women): Host China to play USA and Hungary against Russia in World League semifinals
BEIJING, China (June 4) - Host China will play Olympic and reigning FINA World League champion United States of America in one semifinal on day five of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final at the Water Cube in Beijing tomorrow. Hungary will play Russia in the other semifinal.
Russia beat Olympic silver medallist Spain 11-9 in what was a controversial final 14 seconds when a penalty was awarded against Spain in what was seen as possible referee error. Hungary beat Olympic bronze medallist Australia 17-16 in a penalty shootout after the game was tied at 13-13 in regular time. It reversed what Australia did to Hungary in the bronze-medal finals of the last two Olympic Games by winning in penalties in 2008 and in extra time in 2012.
Super Final 2013 (Women): Spain and USA top groups in Beijing Super Final
BEIJING, China (June 3) - Olympic champion United States of America and Spain topped their groups after day three of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final at the Water Cube in Beijing.
Spain went three wins in regular time in Group B while USA had two wins and a loss in penalty shootout to win Group A. For USA, that first-day loss on penalties to China was enough to head off Hungary (two regular-time wins) and China with one regular win and the victory on penalties, which attracts only two points as opposed to the normal three. Russia, with three losses, was fourth.
Super Final 2013 (Women): Euro teams prove their worth on day two
BEIJING, China (June 2) - European teams Spain, Hungary and Italy had one-goal victories on day two of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final at the Water Cube in Beijing. It was the second day that three games went to the wire, but there were no penalty shootouts, although the last game of the night came within three seconds of doing so.
In Group A, after Olympic champion United States of America sent off Russia 13-9, Hungary had to come from behind to beat China 14-13 with a 5-3 final quarter. Gabriella SZUCS scored the winning goal 16 seconds from time. It was Hungary’s second win in regulation time while for the USA it was the first, having lost to China on penalties the night before.
Super Final 2013 (Women): Olympic champion USA loses in penalty shootout to host China
BEIJING, China (June 1) - Olympic champion United States of America suffered a dramatic, sudden-death, penalty-shootout loss to host China on the opening day of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final at the Water Cube in Beijing. Featuring new players and some new coaches, the Super Final is an excellent chance for athletes to cement their positions ahead of the FINA World Championships in Barcelona next month.
The 3000-strong crowd in the revamped Water Cube main auditorium was treated to some spectacular water polo as the Chinese team went three goals up against the USA, only to see the multiple World League champion level the game at 9-9 by the end of the third quarter and then 10-10 just before full time to force the shootout.
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