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Women's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 4: USA, China, Australia and Russia into semifinals

Water Polo World Cup

World champion United States of America will play China while World Cup champion Australia will face off with Russia in the semifinals of the FINA  Women's Water Polo World Cup at Christchurch’s QE II Park Pool tomorrow. The USA beat Hungary 10-5 after a torrid first half in which it led by only 3-2. A power second half showed just how good this team can play. China earned a tilt at international glory and a highest finish when easily surpassing the host nation, New Zealand, 11-3. The Juan Jane-coached team has proved it is capable of making the final with an unbeaten run this week.

Reigning World Cup champion Australia finally got past Greece 11-7 after being pressured for all of the match. Greece played its best game of the week but the Australians, who missed two penalties and hit the wood seven times in the first half, looked the better team on the night. European champion Russia made the second-half running against Canada to win 12-11. Canada shot poorly in the middle part of the game but then Russia also, by coach Alexandr Kabanov’s admission, did not play to its best either.

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YOG Singapore 2010, Day 6: Limited action in the pool, but a universe of challenges worldwide

Youth Olympic Games

It was certainly not on purpose, but having only three finals in the fifth session of the Swimming programme at these Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, almost obliges who is reporting the event to look outside of the eight lanes of a swimming pool. For the records, there was the final of the 50m butterfly, won by Ukraine’s Andrii Govorov in 23.64 (he had also won the 50m free); there was also the decisive race in the women’s 50m backstroke, where France got the first gold of the competition by Mathilde Cini (29.19); and, finally, China earned its eighth title of these Games by triumphing in the women’s 4x100m free relay. These are the “hard” performances, before the last nine finals on the programme, scheduled for this Friday.

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Women's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 3: Australia and China win groups at FINA World Cup

Water Polo World Cup

Australia won Group B with a come-from-behind 10-8 victory over Russia at the women's water polo FINA World Cup at QE II Park Pool here today. The shocking start helped steel the Aussie Stingers as they decreased the deficit to one (5-4) at halftime and then smashed the European champion with a 5-2 third period.

The 9-4 middle segment of the game showed just how good the Aussies are and lived up to the expectations of retaining the crown won in China four years ago. Australia scored three penalty goals and two from four attempts when a player up while defending 11 of Russia's 13 attempts on extra.

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YOG Singapore 2010, Day 5: Seven finals, 13 countries on the podium, six medals for Australia

Youth Olympic Games

“Variety” was the key-concept of the fourth session of finals at the Youth Olympic Games, taking place in Singapore. Throughout the seven finals contested, no less than 13 nations earned medals in the pool of the Sports School; two of them – Singapore and Kuwait (competing in these Games under the IOC flag) – were on a swimming Olympic podium for the first time; Australia was the most prolific country, with no less than six awards (one gold, two silver and three bronze) in this session; China, with two gold, comfortably reinforced the lead of the medal chart; Italy won the first race of these Games; to complete the scenario, the many spectators and young students that filled the stands of the venue were even awarded with a shared medal (bronze) in the men’s 50m backstroke.

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Kitajima and Koga are Japan’s spearheads at Pan Pacs

Federations News

The swimming season is at its height with the European Championships just ended in Budapest, the Pan Pacific Championships taking place in Irvine (Cal., USA) on August 18-22, 2010, and the Junior Pan Pacific Championships to be held on the island of Maui (Hi., USA) from August 26-30, 2010.

Japan sent a big team to both Irvine and Maui, including Olympic breaststroke champion Kosuke Kitajima, world 100m backstroke champion Junya Koga, Ryo Irie, Ryo Takeishi, Shiho Sakai, Aya Terakawa, Rie Kaneto, Risa Sekine just to name some.

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YOG Singapore 2010, Day 4: After 15 finals, several multi-medallists in evidence

Youth Olympic Games


With China reinforcing its lead of the medal chart at the swimming competition of the first Youth Olympic Games, taking place in Singapore, some preliminary conclusions can be taken regarding the athletes to watch for the future. In fact, after 15 finals contested, many multi-medallists are proving their potential and many of them will certainly be a “card to play” in future editions of FINA World Championships and Olympic Games.

Among men, the star so far is South Africa’s Chad Le Clos. In the third session of finals, he managed to earn two more medals, this time the silver in the 100m butterfly and the bronze in the 4x100m free relay. His collection is now of four awards, after his silver in the 400m free and the gold in the 200m individual medley.

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Women's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 2: Australia two goals better than World champion USA

Water Polo World Cup

This tournament was always going to be about Australia-United States of America. Arguably the two best teams in the world at the moment, clashed on day two in Group B of the 15th FINA World Cup for women’s water polo at Christchurch’s QE II Park pool. As in Sydney last week at the 10th Anniversary Tournament to celebrate a decade of women’s Olympic water polo, Australia finished on top, giving it three successive victories in a week against the World and World League champion.

The first quarter was locked at 1-1 but the Aussie Stingers went 4-1 ahead by halftime, kept a 5-4 advantage at three-quarter time and sealed the match with a penalty goal inside the last two minutes for 7-5 and bragging rights heading towards the quarter-finals. Australia now needs to pass Russia tomorrow to win the group.

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Women's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 1: Aussie Stingers swamp Kiwis on opening night

Water Polo World Cup

Defending champion Australia won big on the opening day of the 15th FINA Women's Water Polo World Cup at QE II Stadium in Christchurch. The Aussie Stingers defeated a gutsy New Zealand 17-4 in the last game of the night in a game where New Zealand scored first and trailed just 4-3 early in the second quarter. However, Australia swam away with the game and the lead in Group B where the world champion United States of America downed European champion Russia in the opening game.

As the night hotted up and the crowd swelled, China had the better of Greece 11-7 after the European team — third at the FINA World League Super Finals last month — blew a first-quarter dominance. In the other Group A match, Canada produced its best form of the year with a 14-10 margin over Hungary, a late inclusion to the event.

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YOG Singapore 2010, Day 3: Swimming, Olympics & Medals – Winning combination for new countries

Youth Olympic Games

There are countries that transformed the act of winning an Olympic medal in Swimming into a “normal” thing: nations like United States, Australia or Russia have in each of the stars earning an Olympic podium a swimmer of talent, but the “quantity” of success necessarily leads to routine. There are many other countries for which the winning combination “Swimming + Olympics + Medals” was never a reality. The first edition of the Youth Olympic Games, taking place in Singapore, is re-balancing the situation: if the inaugural day of finals marked the first Olympic medals in this discipline for Venezuela (Cristian Quintero, bronze in the men’s 400m free) and Czech Republic (Barbora Zavadova, third in the women’s 200m IM), the second session saw the entry of two new countries in the “Olympic club”: Israel (Yakov Toumarkin, second in the men’s 10m backstroke) and Portugal (Ana de Pinho Rodrigues, third in the women’s 50m breaststroke). This is also what the Youth Olympic Games are about: a platform for future performances at the highest level, in an atmosphere where it is possible to “breathe” some of the pressure of the traditional Olympic Games.

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Women's Water Polo World Cup 2010: World's best women's water polo teams head to Christchurch (NZL)

Water Polo World Cup

New Zealand's women's water polo players take on the planet's heavyweights this week at the 15th FINA Women's Water Polo World Cup at Christchurch's QE II Stadium. Ranked outside the elite group, the Kiwis face the daunting task of mixing it with seven of the leading teams as they battle for world supremacy in the year's major test ahead of next year's FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China.

It's the second time Christchurch has hosted the event after the first in 1988. This four-year spectacle, dominated by the Netherlands with eight titles since its inception in 1979, is headed by reigning champion Australia, who last week bested six of the teams at the 10th Anniversary Tournament in Sydney, celebrating a decade since women's water polo's inclusion to Olympic Games.

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