Riccione 2012, Water Polo: Three lots of extra time and two penalty shootouts!
Drama it certainly was and right up until the last second at the 14th FINA World Masters Championships where the 274 matches in Riccione certainly provided fantastic publicity for this discipline of the aquatic sports. Exactly one hundred teams took part (one team had to withdraw at the last minute as it did not have enough players) and those present including FINA President, Dr. Julio C. Maglione, FINA Hon. Secretary and President of the Italian Swimming Federation, Paolo Barelli, and FINA Executive Director, Cornel Marculescu, witnessed a fantastic spectacle the likes of which has seldom been seen before. Of the teams taking part twelve of them were women’s teams competing in four different age-groups while the remainder in the men’s tournament were competing in eight different age-groups. And the finals themselves provided a particularly tense and exciting atmosphere with three of them going into extra time and of those three two went to penalty shoot-outs. In just two age-groups were the winners from Boras in Sweden two years ago able to repeat their triumph and in the women’s tournament there was just one successful title defense.
Super Final 2012 (Men): Croatia clinches top spot, Kazakhs lose to Italy in shootout
KAZAKHSTAN, Almaty (June 13) – Kazakhstan came back and forced the game against Italy to a penalty-shootout despite trailing 9-4 early in the third period. The heroic efforts of the hosts were wildly celebrated by the home crowd. This was the real highlight on Day 2 which saw Croatia clinching the top spot after two rounds in Group A and China causing some head-ache for the U.S. team.
Super Final 2012 (Men): China almost upsets World champion Italy
KAZAKHSTAN, Almaty (June 12) - The FINA Water Polo World League Super Final kicked off in the splendid city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. The venue of the summer’s biggest water polo showcase (besides the Olympics, of course) could not be more suitable for the occasion, the 10th anniversary of the first FINA World League Super Final: a fine outdoor pool bathing in sunshine with spectacular views of the magnificent, snow-capped mountains in the background.
The spectacular opening ceremony featured national folk-dancers to the delight of the crowd. On behalf of FINA, Bureau Member and Technical Water Polo Committee Liaison, Dimitris Diathesopoulos addressed those in the stands and at poolside. The event was officially opened by the Mayor of Almaty, Ahmedzan Esimov. The first day of action almost brought the first upset of the tournament as China challenged the Italians for the duration of the game, only to settle a narrow loss to the current World champions.
Albert Guinovart to compose soundtrack for Barcelona 2013
The Catalan musician and pianist Albert Guinovart will compose the soundtrack for the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships Barcelona 2013. Members of the event’s Organising Committee have decided to put the composer of the music for “El cor de la ciutat” in charge of all music pieces of the championships.
Guinovart, who already composed the music for the 2003 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, will write all the music played during the competition and at the start and end of each event, as well as the music accompanying the swimmers and officials, the music played during the medal ceremonies, the fanfares, the marches and some other parts related to the TV production.
Samoan tyro begins his international career
It’s not all about the Olympics in 2012, as 15-year-old Samoan Jamal Tamasese attests. While the superstars are all preening for the London Olympic Games, at the other end of the world, Jamal is beginning to get to grips with the sport and has just returned home from his first major international competition — the Oceania Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
While there are just a handful of swimmers at the top level in Samoa, Jamal is at the forefront of his sport in a country more known for its rugby prowess. Jamal attended the Fijian Championships in April, landing silver in 15-17 boys’ 100m Fly, 100m Free and 200 IM.
Marathon Swim Qualifier (Men): Mellouli (TUN), also a champion in open water
Oussama Mellouli had warned: his entry into the open water elite would be memorable. In the second 10km event he ever raced, the Tunisian star won the men’s FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier held today in Setubal (POR). Mellouli completed the race in 1h45m18s5 after a superb strategy in which he always stayed in the leading group of athletes, providing a superb and decisive attack in the last two loops of the race.
The Olympic champion of the 1500m free in Beijing (CHN) had declared in the Press Conference presenting the event in Setubal that, if qualified for London, he would fight for the medals in the British capital.
Marathon Swim Qualifier (Women): Anderson (USA) wins, another 14 grab London ticket
After giving the starting signal for the women’s FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in the bay of Setubal, Rosa Mota, the first Portuguese female gold Olympic medallist waited less for the final of the race than her time in the 1988 successful marathon in the roads of Seoul (KOR). The “godmother” of the Setubal event saw the first swimmer to finish the 10km race in 1h44m30s6, much faster than a standard time in a women’s road marathon.
The victory came to U.S. Haley Anderson, who got the opportunity to win her “ticket” for her first Olympic appearance.
Strong field competes in Setubal (POR) for last Olympic marathon swimming berths
Everything is ready in Setubal (POR) to welcome the more than 100 swimmers (61 men and 41 women) from 45 countries searching for their final qualification for the 10km marathon swimming races at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This weekend (June 9 for the women, and June 10 for the men), the last 15 places in each gender will be decided in Portuguese waters, where for the last six years (since 2006) was also held a leg of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup.
In the Press Conference presenting the event, both the local organisers and the athletes present in Setubal displayed their confidence in a great event. “We are very proud of hosting this qualification, the only one in Portuguese soil for the London Olympics. Both races will be thrilling, as we have a very strong field – both in quality and in quantity”, admitted Paulo Frischknecht, President of the Portuguese Swimming Federation and FINA Bureau Member.
Canada's open water aces to seize historic chance
Zsofia Balaz of Toronto and Nadine Williams of Sherwood Park, Alta. will be aiming to be within the top 9 crossing the finish line to secure their place for London 2012. Balaz, who was the first National champion in the women’s 10km, is driven to become Canada’s first qualifier for the Marathon swimming event at the Olympics since it was first introduced to the Games line up in Beijing.
Azevedo and Bailey (USA) eye fourth Olympics
Huntington Beach, Calif. – Terry Schroeder, Head Coach for the U.S. Olympic Men's Water Polo Team, has announced the final 14 athletes in training to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games this summer in London, England at a press conference at the LA84 Foundation in Los Angeles, CA, on June 5. LA84 Foundation Chairman, Bob Graziano and President, Anita DeFrantz welcomed the team to open the press conference. Only 13 athletes will compete for Team USA, the final 13 will be announced at a later date. Featuring eleven returners from the 2008 team that won the Silver Medal, the team clinched a berth to the 2012 Olympic Games by winning Gold at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Due to recent injuries the announcement of the final 13 athletes has been put on a hold until a date later this month. "We had every intention of coming here today and announcing 13 players on our team," said USA Head Coach Terry Schroeder. "Based on the respect for the process of naming the Olympic team we've decided to come here with 14 players."
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