Water Polo Women, Day 5: RUS 17 CAN 9
Russian pair Evgeniya Ivanova and Ekaterina Prokofyeva steered their team to a 17-9 quarterfinal over Canada at the Bernat Picornell Pool today. The pair scored the first four Russian goals and went on to score twice more as Russia took the 5-2 quarter-time score to 8-3 at halftime and 12-6 at the final break.
It was Russia’s natural progression in the championship and try as it might, Canada could not overcome the early 3-0 deficit. Joelle Bekhazi kept her team on the scoresheet with two of her four goals in the third quarter, including a penalty strike.
Water Polo Men: Day 4: AUS 8 GER 4
Australia completed the list of quarter-finalists by defeating Germany 8-4 and will now look forward to Tuesday when it must front Olympic champion Croatia for a semifinal berth. Australia had the better defence, the better goalkeeper and better strike power and thoroughly deserved a quarterfinal match.
Australia controlled the opening quarter through power shots from captain Rhys Howden and Aaron Younger with a rifle shot. When Heiko Nossek scored the first goal for Germany at the start of the second quarter, it was a touch of Australian infamy as the 700th goal conceded at World Championships, second only to Canada’s 742.
Serbia going head to head with Montenegro in quarterfinals
Serbia will face Montenegro in what will be a hotly contested quarterfinal on Tuesday following the qualification round of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World Championships at the Bernat Picornell Pool today. Serbia sent Romania packing for home with a 13-5 scoreline and Montenegro defeated Canada 12-4 to set up a tantalising encounter.
The qualifiers were decisive, unlike the women’s matches the day before where European champion Italy and World League champion China departed the scene. The other quarterfinals have Greece facing Hungary, Croatia against Australia and Spain playing Italy.
Water Polo Men, Day 4: ITA 11 CHN 3
Italy has booked a quarterfinal appointment with Spain after beating China 11-3 in the qualifiers at Bernat Picornell Pool. It was a vast improvement on the previous meeting of the two at last year’s World League when Italy won 10-9 — the smallest winning margin in all eight encounters between each other at major tournaments.
Italy scored twice before Zhang Chufeng (CHN) plastered the ball into the back of the net from two metres. Matteo Aicardi scored the first of two amazing centre-forward, backhand lobs against Weiqing Ge for 3-1.
Swimming, Day 1: Two gold for USA, Sun (CHN) and France shine too
Yang Sun (CHN) and Katie Ledecky (USA) were the first heroes of the inaugural day of the swimming competitions at the 15th FINA World Championships, taking place in Barcelona (ESP). In the decisive race of the men’s 400m free, the Chinese star clearly took control of the field, getting the gold in 3:41.59 – an expected triumph for the 2012 Olympic champion in the 400m and 1500m free.
In the women’s final, Ledecky also won comfortably (3:59.82), but everyone was expecting a better reaction from the Olympic champion Camille Muffat – however, the French was not in her best shape and only finished seventh in a modest time of 4:07.67. The home crowd could enjoy the silver performance of local star Melanie Costa, and New Zealand got her first women’s medal at Worlds thanks to the bronze effort of Lauren Boyle.
Swimming, Day 1 - Men’s 4x100m free: France wins epic battle against USA
As at the 2012 Olympics in London, France and USA fought an epic battle and as in the British capital, the quartet from Gaul managed to get the gold in what was perhaps the most spectacular final of this first day of finals. The French won in 3:11.18, while the North Americans (who got the gold on 11 occasions at the World Championships) had to settle for silver in 3:11.42 – the key for the victory was an amazing third leg by Fabien Gilot, who swam the 100m free in an impressive 46.90, the fastest of the final.
At the same time, Anthony Ervin (USA) clocked 47.44, while the last leg was even worse for the USA: Feigen’s 48.23 were clearly slow against Stravius’ 47.59. It is the first title for France (swimming with Yannick Agnel, Florent Manadou, Fabien Gilot and Jeremy Stravius) in this event at the FINA World Championships.
Swimming, Day 1 - Women’s 4x100m free: 10 years later, USA gets the title
In a thrilling race, the team of USA got the gold medal in the first relay final of these Championships, proving that Barcelona brings luck to North American quartets. In fact, their last title dated from 2003, when they also triumphed in the Catalan capital. Since then, Australia in 2005 and 2007, and Netherlands in 2009 and 2011 had stolen the show.
At the Palau Sant Jordi, Australia started by dominating the operations, leading the way until the 300m-mark, but a very fast leg from Megan Romano gave the victory to USA in 3:32.31, better than the time (3:33.15) it took Australia to get the Olympic gold in 2012 in London. The Aussies got this time the silver in 3:32.43 (Alicia Coutts, swimming her third race of the afternoon, anchored her team’s relay), while the 2011 champions – Netherlands – had to content with the bronze (3:35.77).
Swimming, Day 1 - Women’s 400m free: Ledecky (USA) wins gold in 3:59.82
In the much awaited duel between Katie Ledecky (USA) and Camille Muffat (FRA), the North American comfortably won the 400m free in a time of 3:59.82, the first performance under four minutes since the beginning of the year. Until the 300m-mark, Ledecky, the surprising winner of the 800m free at the 2012 Olympics, swam under the WR pace, but the last 100m proved to be quite hard for her. It is her first medal at the FINA World Championships.
The silver went to Spain’s Melania Costa, also the second fastest of the heats, in 4:02.47 – first success at this level –, while Lauren Boyle from New Zealand took home the bronze in 4:03.89, getting the first podium presence for her country in women’s events in the history of the FINA World Championships.
Swimming, Day 1 - Men’s 400m free: Yang Sun (CHN) confirms credentials
In the first swimming final of the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Yang Sun (CHN), the best performer of the season and the fastest of the heats, was the man to beat. And no one managed to beat him in the decisive race… The 2012 Olympic gold medallist in the 400m and 1500m free perfectly controlled the race and got the gold in 3:41.59, bettering the time of 3:42.93 he had swum in April at the National Championships in Zhengzhou.
Sun had a very solid first half of the race, cruising at the 200m-mark under the World Record pace (-0.47), but at the end he couldn’t approach his personal best of 3:40.14, his winning time at the London Olympics.
Water Polo Men, Day 4: HUN 16 KAZ 7
Hungary defeated a defiant Kazakhstan 16-7 and created history in bringing up 1000 goals at World Championships, en route to Tuesday’s quarterfinals. Newcomer centre forward Krisztian Bedo, just turned 20, was the person to claim this slice of Hungarian history, netting on a cross pass on extra-man attack for 13-5. The man who made it possible was Kazakhstan scorer Ushakov, who gained the exclusion that led to the goal.It was unusual to watch Hungary behind for the second consecutive match (in Friday’s draw with Australia) as Kazakhstan shot to a 4-2 lead at quarter time, only to see Hungary grab the lead at 5-4. Sergey Gubarev equalised with his third goal from his favoured deep-right position and the game was still keeping the fans on the edge of their seats.
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