Olympic gold medallists at Masters water polo

Masters

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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Discover Masters World: Giorgio Levi Della Vida (ITA)

Masters

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.”

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Discover Masters World: Rene Puddifoot (GBR)

Masters

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.

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Men's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 4: Serbia, USA, Spain & Croatia win and go through for the podium

Water Polo World Cup

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.


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Men's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 3: Unbeaten Spain and Croatia top respective group

Water Polo World Cup

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.

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