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.

The women's Super Final is to be held in Kunshan (CHN) from June 10-15, 2014 while the men's Super Final is scheduled in Dubai (UAE) from June 16-21, 2014.

Super Final 2011 (Men): Serbia and Croatia on top of groups

World League

FLORENCE, Italy (June 23) - Without some of its big guns (Zlokovic, Ivovic, Paskovic and Nikola Janovic, injured during his first match here), Montenegro could resolve a tight match - which ended in a low score tie after the regular time (4-4) - only after the penalty shootouts. Radovic, Mladan Janovic, Danilovic and Petrovic converted for Montenegro; for Australia only Howden managed to convert his penalty while Miller and Maitland missed their own. The most notable individual prowess was the goal scored at 2:20 in the 3rd quarter by Australia’s centre-forward Baird.

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Super Final 2011 (Men): Serbia beats Italy after shootouts

World League

FLORENCE, Italy (June 22) - Until half time the Chinese managed to stay in the game, with five goals for and seven against. Once more China has shown a balanced team and displayed some good individuals. Then the superiority of the Americans materialised with six more goals and just one more for the Chinese. USA’s captain Tony Azevedo top scored the game with 4 goals; Guo scored three goals, half of the total made by the Chinese.

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Super Final 2011 (Men): Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia and Italy win on Day 1

World League

FLORENCE, Italy (June 21) - The stage of this edition, which will qualify the winning team directly to the 2012 Olympic Games in London and will earn the winners a US$ 100,000 prize money, is the municipal swimming complex “Paolo Costoli” in Florence, Italy. Florence is home to Gianni Lonzi, the FINA TWPC Chairman and the inspirer of the Local Organising Committee. Florence is a traditional hub of Italian water polo and also the home of both the legendary Gianni De Magistris and the current goalkeeper and captain of the Italian national team Stefano Tempesti. Eight teams are taking part in this Super Final: the United States, Serbia, China, Italy in Group 1; Australia, Canada, Montenegro and Croatia in Group 2.

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Super Final 2011 (Women): Unstoppable USA claims incredible sixth World League crown

World League

USA captain Jessica Steffens with FINA Bureau Liaison for water polo Mr. Dimitris Diathesopoulos and other USA teams members - credit: Russell McKinnonTIANJIN, China (June 19) - United States of America continued its domination of the FINA Women’s World League crown with an incredible sixth title against Italy in the gold-medal final at the Tianjin Olympic Centre Swimming & Diving Pool this evening.

The USA escaped the doldrums and a 7-7 tie inside the final five minutes to win 9-7. The top-of-the-dais effort means the North Americans have won all the major events for the last two years — 2009 World Championships, 2010 World Cup and three successive World Leagues — and is an ominous sign leading up to next year’s London Olympic Games. The only time in the eight editions of the World League that the USA did not stand on the podium was in Kirishi, Russia in 2005 (finishing fifth). In 2008, Russia had the better of the USA in the final.

For Brenda VILLA and Heather PETRI it was their sixth World League gold medal to go with their three Olympic medals and three FINA World Championship golds. VILLA, named to the Media All Star Team, also has World Cup gold in her collection. Betsy ARMSTRONG, voted the tournament’s best goalkeeper, secured her fourth gold medal along with Lauren WENGER, Elsie WINDES and Kameryn CRAIG. Three others took home their third golds and three more their second.

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Super Final 2011 (Women): USA and Italy to battle out World League Super Final decider

World League

AUS vs USA - credit: Russell McKinnonTIANJIN, China (June 18) - Reigning champion United States of America will be shooting for its sixth FINA Women’s World League crown when it faces shock finalist Italy in the gold-medal final at the Tianjin Olympic Centre Swimming & Diving Pool tomorrow. The USA came from 4-2 down at the quarter and 6-5 at halftime to beat Australia 8-7, breaking a 7-7 deadlock with an Elsie WINDES goal inside the final three minutes.

Italy repeated its mega effort of the night before when it beat Russia in a nail-biting shootout to defeat China 7-5 in the other semifinal with a scoreless final quarter. For USA it is a chance to further stamp its authority on this event while Italy is looking to go one better than its one silver (Cosenza, Italy 2006) and one bronze (Long Beach 2004).

Margaret STEFFENS (USA), twice a scorer in the match with Australia, said her team took it “quarter by quarter, winning every little battle” as the match progressed. On there being no panic in the team when behind at halftime, STEFFENS said: “There was adrenalin building in you all the time. We had to be smart on defence. We knew it was going to end up a swim meet as the Australians are super fast. It comes down to who can keep going the longest. “

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