Water Polo Men, Day 7: Bronze Medal - CRO 10 ITA 8
Olympic champion Croatia won a frustrating bronze-medal encounter 10-8 over outgoing world champion Italy. Fouls were king and a veritable revolving door of players and officials being sent from the match marred what could have been something wonderful.
These two teams have been two of the best three teams in the world and deserve respect. They showed it to each other after the match. During action the teams wanted a fluid match but it was a staccato encounter of whistles and uncertainty.
Water Polo Men, Day 7: 7th & 8th - SRB 12 AUS 7
Serbia may be unused to playing off for seventh in a major championship but it’s not unused to playing Australia, having won 10-7 on day one. It became two from two in Barcelona when Serbia defeated the Aussie Sharks 12-7 for seventh place.
Filip Filipovic, a new father who will now want to rush home to see his baby son for the first time, was the star of the show with five goals from six attempts. It could have been six but for a penalty save of his shot against Australian goalkeeper Joel Dennerley. Only one of his left-arm shots came on extra but his run was stopped when he injured his shooting thumb on the follow through of his last score. He finished with 16 goals for the championship.
Women's water polo press conference highlights
Jennifer Pareja (ESP):
"We know that we could not let go this final, that we had to play our best. For me the key is that we enjoy playing and all of us wanted to win. Playing here at home is the best atmosphere.
"I have played the last World Championship (in Barcelona) in 2003 and now and it has been really different. Women's water polo has changed a lot. In the past there was a huge difference between men's water polo and women's water polo and now they're in the same level. In BCN 2003 I was really young and I enjoyed it a lot. Now, in 2013, what we get is awesome.”
Water Polo Women: Day 7: Gold Medal: ESP 8 AUS 6
Spain completed the business it did not quite finish last year at the London Olympic Games by defeating Australia 8-6 in the gold-medal final. It was silver behind United States of America in London while Australia claimed bronze. Tonight it was a well-deserved gold as the best team at these championships and now the top nation on the planet for women’s water polo.
It was victory for head coach Miki Oca and his resolve and faith in his players, led by the indefatigable Jennifer Pareja, voted the championship’s Most Valuable Player.
Olympic silver medallist Spain now crowned World Champion
Spain completed the business it did not quite finish last year at the London Olympic Games by defeating Australia 8-6 in the gold-medal final of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Championships at the Bernat Picornell Pool.
It was silver behind United States of America in London while Australia claimed bronze. Tonight it was a well-deserved gold as the best team at these championships and now the top nation on the planet for women’s water polo.
Water Polo Women, Day 7: 5th & 6th - USA 15 GRE 12 in penalty shootout
Olympic and World Cup champion United States of America beat outgoing world champion Greece 15-12 in a penalty shootout after the match was tied at 10-10 by fulltime and 11-11 after two extra periods. USA sent in all four shots in the shootout while Greece missed two.
The pair played in the same group and USA won that encounter 12-8. USA stretched its lead over Greece in World Championship play to seven.
Swimming, Day 6 – Two more gold for Lochte (USA), overall tally reaches 23!
Ryan Lochte (USA) earned two gold medals in the sixth session of the swimming competition at the 15th FINA World Championships, having now an accumulated number of 23 awards in FINA’s major event since 2005. His latest successes happened in the 200m backstroke, where he easily revalidated his 2011 title, this time in 1:53.79. In the last final of the evening, he was essential in the triumph of his team in the 4x200m free relay. The other two podium presences of Lochte in Barcelona were in the 200m IM (gold) and in the 4x100m free (silver).
Other highlights of this sixth day included the surprising win of Yulia Efimova (RUS, 2:09.41), in the women’s 200m breaststroke. In the semis, Rikke Pedersen (DEN) had established a new World Record of 2:09.11, but she was slower in the decisive race, getting the silver in 2:20.08. In the men’s 200m breaststroke, Daniel Gyurta, from Hungary, became the first man with three wins in this event, after his golden performances also in 2009 and 2011. His time of 2:07.23 is a new Championships and European record, and is faster than the World Record he had set at the 2012 Olympics, when he won this distance. The current WR holder, Japan’s Akihiro Yamaguchi had a poor performance, finishing seventh.
Swimming, Day 6 - Men’s 4x200m free: USA remains unbeaten since 2005!
Unbeaten since 2005, the team of the United States revalidated its title in a time of 7:01.72. Presenting a quartet formed by Conor Dwyer, Ryan Lochte, Charles Ouchin and Ricky Berens, the only weak point of the North Americans was the initial leg, in which Dwyer touched in third. Lochte immediately rectified the situation and from then, the winning team was always in control of the situation. It was the fourth medal of the championships for Lochte and his 23rd since 2005!
With a very fast Danila Izotov (first at 200m), Russia gave some opposition but finished with a silver performance in 7:03.92. The bronze went to China (also third in London last year), touching home in 7:04.74. The silver medallists at the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympics, France, missed the podium, concluding in fourth (7:04.91). Yannick Agnel was quite solid in the first 200m (1:45.44, second) but the subsequent efforts of Lorys Bourelly, Gregory Mallet and Jeremy Stravius were not enough to secure a medal.
Swimming, Day 6 - Men’s 200m breaststroke: Gyurta (HUN) gets third consecutive title in a new CR
When winning gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in a new World Record of 2:07.28, Daniel Gyurta, from Hungary, could not imagine that his performance would not last for more than a month and a half. On September 15, 2012, in Gifu (JPN), 18-year-old Akihiro Yamaguchi blasted that mark to set the existing World Record in 2:07.01. Gyurta has of course the Olympic glory, but his outstanding performance was soon forgotten.
In Barcelona, the Magyar 2009 and 2011 champion, was ready for the “revenge”. After being also the fastest of the semis, Gyurta not only outclassed Yamaguchi (in lane 1), but the entire field of this final. Earning gold in 2:07.23, he did not recover the WR performance but proved that he is at the top of his shape. Moreover, he bettered his personal best and established a new Championships Record (the previous mark had been set by Christian Sprenger (AUS) in Rome 2009, in a time of 2:07.31. The Magyar victory also meant another milestone in this event, as he became the first swimmer at the World Championships to have three wins in the 200m breaststroke, and on a consecutive way.
Swimming, Day 6 - Women’s 200m breaststroke: Efimova (RUS) beats Pedersen (DEN) in a thrilling race
After the World Record (2:09.11) in the semis, Rikke Pedersen, from Denmark, was the swimmer to beat in this decisive race. The Danish led until the 150m-mark, but a final push from Yulia Efimova, from Russia, allowed her to surprisingly get the gold in 2:19.41. Pedersen had to content with the silver, in 2:20.08, while the bronze went to US Micah Lawrence in 2:22.37.
Both Pedersen and Efimova were looking for their first world title, but the previous experience of the Russian star probably dictated this outcome: Efimova had already five medals at this level – including the 2009 gold in the 50m breaststroke -, plus a 2012 Olympic bronze in the 200m. Pedersen, despite being three years older (she is 24) had never medalled at Olympic or world level. For Lawrence, this is also the first podium presence at World Championships.
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