Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee

The second day’s morning session already saw two outstanding matches. First, Australia overcame China and its disappointment after the previous evening’s bad defeat against Greece. What seemed to be an easy game after three periods when the Aussies were 9-5 up, turned into a nailbiter as China came back to 9-8 and had two minutes to equalise but couldn’t score any more.

The Aussies were on the rise against China - Credit: Apostolos Zacharakis

Italy held the Canadians on two goals in the last three periods, so after the first period’s scoring festival the Italians earned a fine 8-5 win. That sent them directly to the quarter-finals as they already booked the top spot in Group C.

In the other two matches Serbia beat Slovakia 11-8 to secure its berth in the crossover matches, while the USA downed New Zealand 11-4 and faces a last and crucial group clash against Spain.

The afternoon session began with a big-margin win for Spain, over Croatia (18-2) and it continued the same way despite the second game featured the Netherlands and Hungary. However, what's usually a great match-up in women's tourneys, sometimes can be different in age-group level. Currently the Dutch field a much better team than the Magyars and they didn't give any chance for their rivals as they won quite comfortably (14-4). This was also enough to earn the first place in Group A and a berth in the quarters.

Launching another rocket... A scene from the game from the Netherlands and Hungary

During sunset Japan also went down against the Russians in a spectacular high-scoring contest where the Russians set a single-period scoring record by netting 8 in the closing quarter, including a last-second 14m blast which marked their 20th hit in the afternoon. The last match of the day brought a similar scenario, Greece routed the South Africans 21-5 and also heads to the best eight, though they have some task against China in the last round of the prelims.

Standings after two rounds

Group A

1. Netherlands 4, 2. Russia 2, 3. Hungary 2, 4. Japan 0

Group B

1. Greece 4, 2. Australia 2, 3. China 2, 4. South Africa 0

Group C

1. Italy 4, 2. Canada 2, 3. Serbia 2, 4. Slovakia 0

Group D

1. USA 4, 2. Spain 4, 2. New Zealand 0, 4. Croatia 0