Super Final 2013 (Men): Japan almost caught the US, second shootout loss for Montenegro

World League

MNE vs HUN - credit: Anatoly Kolyushchenko/Vyacheslav ShishkozdovCHELYABINSK, Russia (June 12) - Group A cannot provide one-sided battles! After Day One’s two great clashes – both ended in shootouts – we have two more thrillers in Chelyabinsk at the FINA Water Polo World League Super Final. The U.S. team scored the winner in the last minute against Japan and later Hungary staged another comeback and beat Montenegro in a penalty shootout.

The matches in Group B offered less excitement as China thrashed Brazil and Serbia upended Russia in a 25-goal encounter and already clinched the first place of the group.

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Super Final 2013 (Men): Japan makes history by upsetting Montenegro

World League

MNE vs JPN - credit: Anatoly Kolyushchenko/Vyacheslav ShishkozdovCHELYABINSK, Russia (June 11) - What a day to start the World League Super Final in Chelyabinsk! Japan’s win over Montenegro is one of the biggest upsets ever in the history of the FINA World League Super Finals. It was a historic win for Japan – in the shootout –, the first great triumph in a big tournament against a top-ranked European team (Montenegro was 4th in London and came runner-up at the European Championships).

There was another penalty shootout which saw the USA beating Hungary, also a bit surprisingly. Group A had much calmer matches, Serbia easily overcame China while the host Russians made their fans happy by scoring an easy win against Brazil.


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Esther Williams (1921-2013): the sky has a new star

Highlight

Former movie star Esther Williams (USA) Esther Williams (USA), also known as the pioneer and main inspiration for the development of synchronised swimming, passed away on June 6, 2013 in Beverly Hills, during her sleep. She was 91. Away from public appearances in the latest years, she remained very active for over six decades, first as an athlete, then as a Hollywood star, and finally as a great promoter of swimming and physical activity throughout USA.

Her success story begins in 1940, when she was ready to represent her country at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The celebration of this Olympiad never took place as World War II had just started the year before, and the swimming community never knew if the US champion in the 100m freestyle could also shine in Olympic waters. What was, perhaps, a missing champion, became in the same decade an icon for a FINA discipline that was making its debut and that was popularised worldwide through Williams’ performances.

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Super Final 2013 (Women): China wins historic first international crown

World League

BEIJING, China (June 6) - China beat Russia 8-7 for its first international senior women’s crown on the final day of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final at the Water Cube in Beijing. China was never headed, but had to fend off a resilient, youthful Russia all the way, en route to its first FINA World League medal and in front of several thousand adoring fans. For Russia it was a second silver to go with gold and bronze from previous editions.

Two Russian coaches steered the teams to the final with former Russian women’s coach Alexander KLEYMENOV at the head of China’s fortunes. New Russian coach Mikhail NAKORYAKOV has tasted gold before, as head coach of the Russian youth team in Siberia in 2009.


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Super Final 2013 (Women): China-Russia Super Final gold-medal clash

World League

BEIJING, China (June 5) - China will play Russia for gold on day 6 of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final at the Water Cube in Beijing on Thursday. China thrilled a huge crowd with a 9-7 victory over Olympic champion United States of America in the first semifinal and Russia outlasted Hungary 12-9 in the other.

Remarkably, such is the closeness and competitiveness of this tournament that Russia was winless after the three days of group matches and China, despite two victories, only finished third in its group.

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