Canada and the Netherlands make good start
Trieste (April 15) - On the first day only two games from Group B were played. The outcome of both was widely predictable, with Canada and the Netherlands easily prevailing over Kazakhstan and Brazil, respectively. A sober opening ceremony took place half an hour before the beginning of the first match in the beautiful complex “Bruno Bianchi”.
FINA Bureau member and Water Polo Technical Committee Liaison Dimitris Diathesopoulos delivered the inaugural speech. He also brought the salute of the FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione to participants, organisers, public and media. Gianni Lonzi, Chairman of FINA TWPC, supervised all operations to make sure that the tournament develops under the best possible conditions.
10th FINA World Swimming Officials Seminar to begin in Tokyo (JPN)
The 10th FINA World Swimming Officials Seminar will welcome 111 participants from 58 member federations in Tokyo (JPN) from April 12-15, 2012. The Members of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee, Chairman Carol Zaleski (USA), Vice Chairman Don Blew (AUS), Honorary Secretary Soren Korbo (DEN) and FINA Vice President and Bureau Liaison Dale Neuburger (USA), will be leading the four-day event, which is organised in cooperation with the Japan Swimming Federation.
The Seminar's main objective is to provide a meeting opportunity for Swimming Officials from around the world to exchange knowledge and strengthen expertise in respect of both FINA Swimming Rules and practice at international competitions. The Seminar promises to be highly interactive with small groups discussions planned every day. A special session will be organised for those officiating at the 2012 London Olympic Games on the last day.
Montenegro wins OGQT with powerful finish over Spain
Edmonton (April 8) - Montenegro swam away with the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament for men in Edmonton, beating Spain 12-9 in the final. It was the manner in which Montenegro won the match that belied the fact the last two days were dead rubbers. Spain also played to the higher level and stayed in touch at the first two breaks but could not contain the bigger and rocket-shooting opposition. Montenegro only led by a goal at the first two breaks but managed to gain a three-goal margin heading into the final quarter. Montenegro shared around the goal-scoring befitting a team of high achievers and excellent shooters. Alexander IVOVIC and Mladan JANOVIC both top-scored their team with 17 goals for the tournament.
Felipe PERRONE scored three goals in the final and finished with 18 goals in second-equal position with Greece’s Ioannis FOUNTOULIS, who missed the third-placed play-off with an injured right foot.
Montenegro and Spain rise to the top of Olympic qualifier
Edmonton (April 7) - Montenegro will play Spain in the final of the men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament at the Kinsmen Sports Centre here today. Following an incredible 13-12 overtime victory against Greece in their semifinal, Montenegro will be out for an unbeaten streak against Spain on Sunday. The Montenegrins had to over a 6-1 deficit midway through the second quarter to trail by just two goals at halftime. It became 8-8 at the final break and it was left to Greek captain Georgios AFROUDAKIS to score a breakaway goal to level the game at 1:24 to see the game into overtime.
Greece took control with a 2-1 first period but the wily Vladimir GOJKOVIC and power centre forward Boris ZLOKOVIC made sure of victory with a 2-0 period. The key to the victory was Mladan JANOVIC, who scored five goals, including two in the fourth quarter. Greece lost some of its defensive power when regular goalkeeper and three-time Olympian Nikolaos DELIGIANNIS, who gave up a penalty foul for messing with the goal at the stroke of halftime, was red-carded for misconduct.
Final four berths decided for London Olympic Games
Edmonton (April 6) - Montenegro, Romania, Spain and Greece booked the final berths for the 2012 London Olympic Games when they clearly won their quarter-finals at the men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament at the Kinsmen Sports Centre here today. It was a Good Friday for the four teams as they completed the 12-team roster for London, making sure of their berths with some emphatic performances.
Montenegro, spearheaded by captain Nikola JANOVIC (4 goals) and Aleksandar IVOVIC (5 goals), were too strong and always knew that they would book a flight to London, using the match as a showcase of the players’ individual skills. Turkey kept in the game at 5-2 and, but for a toiling effort in the third quarter that brought three goals to Montenegro’s one, had to enjoy the chance of playing one of the best teams in the world.
Macedonians upset Germany and force way into Olympic contention
Edmonton (April 5) - Montenegro and Spain won through to the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament for men by winning their respective groups undefeated at the Kinsmen Sports Centre here. But the real action on day five was in the second game of the day when Germany forgot to bring its A game against the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. After leading 4-2 early in the third period, Germany’s goals dried up, the extra-man advantage conversion rate was none from eight and the Macedonians smelled blood and went in for the kill.
MKD, thanks to three Miroslav RANDJIKJ goals, including the last two of the game — scored late in the third quarter — held out the hapless Germans and denied them a shot at the quarter-finals with a 6-4 victory. MKD had snuck into the quarters on the strength of that match, finishing with four points, equal to Germany, but finishing ahead on the first tiebreak, the result between the two. A stunned auditorium was left aghast at the result of the 10th-placed team from the Beijing Olympics not having a shot on day six of this competition. Not at London is one thing, but not even in the quarter-finals of the qualification tournament is another.
Greece upsets Germany in critical Group A encounter
Edmonton (April 4) - Greece threatened Montenegro on Tuesday and beat Germany 11-9 on Wednesday, pointing to a second-placed finished in the powerful Group A at the men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament at Kinsmen Sports Centre in Edmonton. Greece had the better of the game throughout and stunned Germany with a four-goal margin midway through the third period.
The result was far different from the 9-6 win by Germany at January’s European Championships and heralds Greece’s return to the international stage after a few years in the wilderness. The return of the old stars has spurred the team along and the intensity level was definitely lifted in the game against Germany.
Greece piles the pressure on Montenegro
Edmonton (April 3) - Greece nearly threw a spanner into the works when it came amazingly close to upsetting Montenegro on day three of the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament for men at the Kinsmen Sports Centre here today. Montenegro, playing in Group A, is the raging favourite and expected to dominate the event. Greece disagreed, levelled the game twice in the final and had the final shot of the match on extra-man advantage and sent the ball wide of the post.
It was an amazing game in which the potent firepower of Montenegro was kept in the bunker, mainly through Greece’s stoic defence. Twice in the dying minutes Greece repelled the Montenegro assault, showing that it is a chance come Friday’s all-important quarterfinals, which will decide the final four in London. Montenegro led 2-1, 4-2 and 6-4 at the breaks in a game where Mladan JANOVIC (MNE) and Christos AFROUDAKIS (GRE) excelled with three goals each. Montenegro has won three times and for Greece it was a second one-goal loss in three outings.
Romania heads Greece in see-sawing encounter
Edmonton (April 2) - Romania set its sights firmly on a trip to London after a scintillating 10-9 victory over Greece on day two of the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament for men at the Kinsmen Sports Centre here today. In the “Group of Death” — Group A — Romania made up for a first-day loss while Greece has a first loss after a big start on day one.
The thriller saw both teams take the lead four times. The match was levelled at 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 with the winning goal coming just inside the final three minutes. It was edge-of-your-seat stuff with the over-productive Cosmin RADU claiming four goals for the Romanians and Christos AFROUDAKIS with three for the Greeks. The real story will unfold on quarter-final day on Friday but this was edgy play, high-powered and just the sort of action both teams crave in Olympic year.
Germany strikes major blow in hunt for Olympic berth
Edmonton (April 1) - The hunt is on for the final four places at the London Olympic Games and 11 men’s teams are competing for the honour at the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Edmonton, Canada. In the massive Kinsmen Centre, host to the 1978 Commonwealth Games for aquatics, competition started in earnest with the loss of one team missing. Venezuela was a late withdrawal through travel difficulties, meaning Canada was robbed of its opening-day clash. However, Germany and Romania provided the best competition of the day in the tough Group A. There is much hype over who will flow through to the Olympics with Group A containing many top contenders.
Germany seemed to have control of much of the match against Romania but allowed Romania to level in the third and get ahead early in the fourth before retaking the lead at 9-8 with 3:37 remaining in the game. Both teams took timeouts but it was Romania who scored to level at 11 seconds on the clock. Germany was not dejected and scored the winner with five second left. Both goals were scored off deflections and German captain Marc Politze was involved in both, first as the defender and then as the scorer of the last goal. In other Group A games, European No 2 Montenegro dispensed with the Netherlands 12-6 and Greece crushed the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 12-2.
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