Discover Masters World: Mieko Nagaoka (JPN)
Ms. Mieko Nagaoka was born in 1914. She lives alone in the South of Japan and started swimming at 80 years old to recover from a knee injury. Her story teaches us a simple but often overlooked lesson: it is never too late to start something and make great accomplishements.
In the beginning, Ms. Nagaoka didn’t know how to swim. She used to come to the swimming pool to do exercises for her knee. At 82, she started to learn and swim on her own. And because she performs in a Noh – Japanese traditional dancing dramas – this was also an incentive to learn how to swim so that she would keep in shape for the plays.
Masters putting new life into former Olympians' career
Evgeny Zhilyaev, 36 years old, Sergey Gorovoy, 34, and Alexandr Shvedov, 36, all belonged to the Kazakstan men’s water polo team which took part in the Olympic Games for the first time in Sydney (AUS) in 2000 and in Athens (GRE) in 2004, where they finished in a respectable ninth and eleventh place, respectively. They also made three FINA World Championships appearances in 1994 (Rome, ITA), 1998 (Perth, AUS) and 2001 (Fukuoka, JPN). They finished twelveth in Rome and Fukuoka and eleventh in Perth.
After a full high-profile water polo career, their still-competitive spirit continues to thrill at their first FINA Masters World Championships participation, in Gothenburg (SWE), where they play in the 30+ and 35+ age groups.
Men's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 6: Serbia add World Cup title to World League gold
Inspired by his captain Vanja Udovicic and well shaped by coach Dejan Udovicic, Serbia reaffirmed their status as the current world strongest team by winning the World Cup, just two weeks after conquering the gold medal in the World League. In spite of having lost the first match to Croatia, today Serbia crushed their neighbours and traditional rivals thanks to swift start and four goals in the first period (to none). Croatia won the second period but eventually the goal gap at the end was of six. Spain conquered the bronze medal clearly defeating the United States. In other matches Romania beat Australia and conquered the fifth place and the qualification for the next World Championships; for the 7th place China crushed Iran.
Men's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 5: Croatia & Serbia for the gold medal
On the sixth and last day Croatia and Serbia will play the final for the gold and the silver medal on the last of the 24 matches of the tournament. Both the mighty Balkan teams defeated their opponents - the Unites States and Spain, that will play one another for the bronze medal - by the margin of two goals at the end of two spectacular games.
In the first two games, Australia defeated China by a four-goal difference while Romania buries Iran under another 24 goals (against six). The winners will play for the fifth and sixth place, the losers for the 7th and 8th place.
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.
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