Olympic gold medallists at Masters water polo
The Masters community has many stories to tell, but water polo may be the sport to have players with the greatest pre-Masters life achievements to reveal. Indeed, going to a Masters game offers the best chances to cross the way of former Olympians.
Such is the case of Aleksandr Shidlovsky, who was gold medallist at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. He played in the men’s water polo team representing Russia and now operates as a coach.
Discover Masters World: Giorgio Levi Della Vida (ITA)
Rome-based Giorgio Levi Della Vida is a fresh face of Masters diving. He turned 25 on July 29, 2010, consequently eligible to compete for the first time at the FINA Masters World Championships, taking place in Gothenburg, Sweden, from July 27 to August 7.
His diving venture began when he was 16. He always wanted to practice the sport but his parents thought it was too “dangerous”. As a result, when he reached 16, he started looking for a club but for a rookie of his age, possibilities were limited: “There wasn’t any course for boys of my age because I was too old to get into a group and too young for Masters.”
Discover Masters World: Rene Puddifoot (GBR)
Ms. Rene Puddifoot is one kind of a lady. Not only is she the oldest diving competitor at the 13th FINA Masters World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, she also happens to be the oldest diver in action in her entire country, England. She is 88 years old – the oldest male diver is “only” 85 – and trains at the Beaumont Diving Academy in Hatfield, England.
As a child, she remembers her unfortunate experience because of her lack of team spirit: “I was always hopeless at any sort of sport at school”. Soon, she would swim mostly daily to keep fit. At 73, she found swimming was very “boring” and saw some people diving. It looked interesting and she decided to give it a try.
Men's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 4: Serbia, USA, Spain & Croatia win and go through for the podium
The outcome of today’s four games was easily predictable, except for Romania vs. USA, a match that had lifted many expectations among the local fans and that was broadcast live by the Romanian national television (as all Romania’s games); following their request, today’s game of Romania was started at 5 p.m. instead of 3:30pm (the same time for Romania’s game has been agreed for tomorrow and after tomorrow). The home team managed to bravely stay in the game for three quarters: at the end of the 3rd period the score was on tie, 9-9. The hopes of the Romanians faded away in the last period when the Americans managed to convert into goals some extra-man opportunities. The Australians too fought bravely against the Serbians, and lost narrowly to them, but in this case the outcome of the game was never in doubt. Against Spain, China confirmed their progressive improvements while Iran could only limit the damage against Croatia.
Men's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 3: Unbeaten Spain and Croatia top respective group
The end of today’s last game – the 12th – marked the conclusion of the preliminary round. From the 4th day all games – quarterfinals on Friday, semi-finals on Saturday and finals on Sunday - will end with a winner and a loser. Spain and Croatia topped Group A and B respectively; Romania and Serbia were second; Australia and USA third; Iran and China fourth, with zero points.
Today the first two games ended in an almost identical score: 8-15 China-Serbia, 8-14 Romania-Spain. Croatia’s victory over the United States was clear cut and never in doubt in spite of a narrow final 2-goal gap. Much predictable the outcome of Australia-Iran, which the Aussies won 26-4.
Men's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 2: Easy win for Serbia over USA
Olympic bronze medallists Serbia upset the Olympic silver medallist USA at the end of a match that was supposed to provide more thrills and adrenaline. Instead the Americans could not stage a valid opposition to their mighty counterpart.
The real highlight of the second day was therefore the match between Australia and Romania. This was a very lively, exciting and balanced game for most of its duration. The home team wanted this victory badly, and they got it. The Australians fought strenuously but could nothing against the Romanians, and fate.
Wins for Croatia over China and Spain over Iran were easily predicted. Both teams conquered their second win in this tournament and lead respectively Group B and A (Spain share the first place with Romania). The Iberians buried the Iranians under a deluge of 26 goals (just one against): by coincidence the score (1-26) was identical to that of Iran-Romania on the first day.
Successful Masters Championships held in Japan
The Nationals 2010-Japan Masters Swimming ended successfully at the Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Complex on July 19, 2010. Incredible but true, nearly 7,000 swimmers took part in the championships.
Twelve new world records were established; ten in individual events and two in relays. Mieko Nagaoka, 96 years old, broke the world record, timing 2:36.01 in the women’s 50m breaststroke in the category 95-99 years old. After she finished the race, she looked happy, wearing a broad smile.
Men's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 1: Serbia loses first game against Croatia
2006 World Cup winner, 2009 World champion and 2010 World League gold medallist, the team of Serbia, lost its first match at the 14th FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup, being held in Oradea (ROU), from July 27 to August 1, 2010. In a Balkan duel, the Serbians lost against eternal rival Croatia by 10-8, in what was the highlight of the first day. The other main interest of the session was the encounter between Australia and Spain (2009 silver medallists at the FINA World Championships), won by the Iberians 9-7.
Otherwise, natural victories from USA against China (10-6) and from Romania against Iran (26-1).
Roberval 2010, Day 4: Alex Meyer (USA) and Linsy Heister (NED) capture 25K titles
ALEX MEYER (USA) chased Valerio CLERI (ITA) down in the sprint and got to the touch pad 1.1 seconds ahead of his rival in an exciting sprint to the Men's 25K event. This was MEYER's first medal in a FINA event. Petar STOYCHEV (BUL) earned his second ever bronze medal in a FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships.
In the women's edition, Linsy HEISTER's (NED) lead over her competitors grew after each loop she completed. Her winning time of 5:52:13.0 was 3 minutes and 26 seconds ahead of Margarita DOMINGUEZ CABEZAS (ESP). Celia BARROT (FRA) finished in third place. HEISTER placed 6th in the 2009 FINA World Championships on Ostia Beach last summer. The two 25K events held today were the final events of the 6th edition of the FINA World Championships held on the shores of Lac St-Jean in Roberval, Canada.
Action Down Under
Ten years ago Yvette Higgins blasted her name into the Australian sporting psyche when she scored an improbable goal to win water polo’s holy grail — the inaugural women’s Olympic gold medal.
With the decade of women’s Olympic involvement behind us, it’s time to celebrate with six of the world’s best teams returning to the 2000 Olympic Games venue — Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre — for another rousing rendition.
Australia, Canada, China, Greece, Russia and the United States of America will contest 18 games over five days from August 8 in the Auspole Longmont 10th Anniversary Tournament.
Australia is the current World Cup champion; the USA holds the World and World League crowns while Russia is the European champion.
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