Super Final 2012 (Women): Australia beats Russia after shootouts, Greece defeats home squad
CHINA, Changshu (May 31) - The race for the podium escalated in the last game of Day 3 of the FINA Women's Water Polo World League Super Final with the Australian team delivering an intense battle to beat the Russians after an amazing penalty shootout for a close 9-7 victory. Defending champions USA easily crushed Germany 17-3, Canada defeated Italy 9-4 and Greece stunned host China 12-9.
The last day of preliminaries see USA and China climbing on top of Group A while Australia and Russia finish 1-2 of Group B. The four advance to the quarter finals as strong favourites.
Super Final 2012 (Women): Australia, Russia and USA remain unchallenged
CHINA, Changshu (May 30) - Australia, Russia and the United States continued their dominance with two victories each after day 2 of the 2012 FINA Women's Water Polo World League Super Final in Changshu (CHN) while the home squad registered a clean win (15-4) over Germany. China and Greece continue to look strong, each winning one game. Canada, Germany and Italy are still in the race despite their two losses.
Super Final 2012 (Women): Australia, Greece, Russia and USA make good start in game opener
CHINA, Changshu (May 29) - The ninth edition of the FINA Women's Water Polo World League Super Final successfully kicked off in Changshu (CHN) where eight world-class women's water polo teams will fight for the podium during an exciting six days. In the preliminary games of Group A and B, defending champion USA eclipsed host China 10-6, world champion Greece comfortably edged Germany 16-11, world number 3 Russia had a solid win over Italy 16-3 and 2011 World League bronze-medallist Australia crushed Canada 20-4.
Official Barcelona 2013 mascot unveiled
A drop of water will be the official mascot of the 15th FINA World Championships Barcelona 2013. The mascot has been introduced to society on May 22 and baptised in an act that has been presented by Gemma Mengual, who has just recently joined the Organising Committee of Barcelona 2013. According to the comments after the presentation, the guests are very satisfied about the new mascot, which is called Xop.
Maite Fandos, president of the Barcelona 2013 Organising Committee, has revealed the identity of the mascot, which has been elected the winner among 200 proposals that were sent to the event organisers of Barcelona 2013 as part of an online public competition. Xop covered in multi-colored mosaic tiles inspired by Gaudi’s art.
USA Water Polo announces Olympic women's team
Adam Krikorian, Head Coach for the U.S. Olympic Women's Water Polo Team, announced the 13 athletes that will compete at the 2012 Olympic Games this summer in London, England at a press conference at the LA84 Foundation in Los Angeles, CA. Featuring seven returners from the 2008 team that won the silver medal, and eight athletes overall with Olympic Games experience, the team clinched a berth to the 2012 Olympic Games by winning gold at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Led by Team Captain Brenda Villa (Commerce, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club) the U.S. Olympic Women's Water Polo Team is one of the most successful programs in international water polo history over the last twelve years. The only nation to win an Olympic medal at every Olympic Games offering women's water polo, a tally that includes two silver medals (2000 and 2008) and a bronze (2004), the program has also won three World Championships and one World Cup title during that span.
Lurz (GER) sets the pace in Cancun races
German open water swimming icon Thomas Lurz triumphed in two races in Cancun (MEX), the fourth leg of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup and third stop of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, taking place on April 24 and 26, respectively. Brazilian World champion (25km) Ana Marcela Cunha was the best among women in the first race while Jana Pechavona from Czech Republic took out the second.
Lurz powered home to win in 1h57m16s51 in the 10km race, closely followed by current World champion Spyridon Gianniotis from Greece, who finished in 1h57m16s55. Only a photo finish decided which one of them was the winner. Lurz was declared winner by a judges' decision. The Greek was victorious in the first three stages of the Series. Lurz' best result before Cancun was a second place in Eilat (ISR). Claiming third spot was Italy's Nicola Bolzonello, who clocked 1h57m16s56.
Spain fires in Trieste (ITA) and triumphs over Italy
Trieste (April 22) - Confirming their progress, Spain, indeed the best team in Trieste - in spite of two losses in the Preliminary Round (against Russia and Hungary) - clinched a clear cut victory over Italy in the last match of the Women's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. While the Italians appeared out of focus and confused, the Spaniards managed to keep their concentration and motivation, fully deserving the final success.
Russia won over Hungary for the third place 18-13. The Netherlands narrowly beat Greece after extra-times (11-10) to be fifth while Canada crushed Kazakhstan (17-2) to take the seventh place. Italy’s Tania Di Mario was the top scorer of the tournament with 22 goals. Curiously, no Spanish player ranked among the Top Ten scorers. Paradoxically, this is also a sign of strength within the greatly balanced Spanish side.
Last synchro duets decided for London Olympics
London (April 22) - The final day of the FINA Olympic Games Synchronised Swimming Qualification saw the final four places in the Duet fought out with Israel, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary securing their Olympic positions.
The second round in the Duets was focused on the Free routine and the eight entries were fighting for the four top positions. Israel began the competition drawn in first place and put in a strong performance to score an improved Free routine total of 83.780 and finished in first place with a total of 168.580.
The second position went to Switzerland who demonstrated good height and improved synchronicity to score 83.780 and a total of 165.980.
An all-mediterranean final for Spain and Italy
Trieste (April 21) - Following their respective victory against Hungary and Russia, the squads of Spain and Italy will battle for the first place in tomorrow's final of the Women's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Trieste (ITA). Having successfully reached the quarter finals yesterday, the four teams have met the Olympic target to compete at the London Games this summer. In today's other two matches, Greece was the obvious winner in their clash with Kazakhstan, scoring 21-9 while the Netherlands defeated Canada 16-13.
After yesterday’s decisive quarter-finals, adrenaline was lower on day 6 of the tournament. Some teams seemed to lack motivation. Others, quite simply, did not have much energy left. Whatever the reason, today’s matches were less intense than yesterday’s, with the exception of the last match between Russia and Italy, which was thrilling and exciting until the very end.
Russia, Spain and Japan on synchro team podium, securing London berths
London (April 21) - Russia remained dominant on the penultimate day of competition of the FINA Olympic Games Synchronised Swimming Qualification as they sealed their place in the London Olympic Games.
The medallists Russia, Spain and Japan all secured their positions to compete at the London Olympic Games. Russia took to the water using the same routine that won them gold at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai and looked powerful from their first highlight.
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