Super Final 2011 (Women): Unstoppable USA claims incredible sixth World League crown
TIANJIN, 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.
Super Final 2011 (Women): USA and Italy to battle out World League Super Final decider
TIANJIN, 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. “