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Bronwen Knox (AUS): "I refuse to be told I can’t do something”

Winning Olympic gold is something youngsters dream about when they first dip their toes in the water. It’s something that older people still aspire to, especially when the top step of Olympism has never been attained. The desire is finite and the will to succeed never tarnishes, especially when someone has been so close for so long. Aussie Stinger Bronwen Knox is one such person. 

Profiles / Interviews 2019
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30Mar2020

FINA BEST ATHLETES OF THE YEAR” HONOURED AFTER A MEMORABLE 2019

After a very exciting competitive year of 2019, highlighted by the FINA World Championships in Gwangju (KOR), the list of the “FINA Best Athletes of the Year” is known in all FINA six disciplines.

 

FINA World Aquatics Gala 2019
Link
07Feb2020

Anastasia Savchuk (UKR): "You need to listen more to the coaches"

She was one of the busiest artistic swimmers in Gwangju but also one of the most successful. Anastasia Savchuk stood on the podium six times at the World Championships, sharing a historic first world title for Ukraine in the highlight routine and collecting five bronze medals – two apiece in duet and team and a fifth in the free combination. Still, Anastasia rated her season as only a 7 on a scale to 10.

 

What can you say about the past season? How satisfied are you?

Profiles / Interviews 2019
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03Feb2020

Haley Anderson (USA): “I’ve always been really tough”

A top-10 finish at the World Championships. That’s all she needed to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Instead, Haley Anderson chased – and captured – the silver medal in the women’s open water 10km in Gwangju this summer. And when she did, the California native qualified for her third consecutive Olympic Games in open water – just the fourth woman in history to do so.

Profiles / Interviews 2019
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29Jan2020

FINA IN MOURNING - Eugenio Martinez (CUB)

Six-time Olympic referee Eugenio Martinez of Cuba has passed away on December 25, 2019 leaving a huge hole in the worldwide water polo community. We have lost another great to the game.

A former FINA Bureau member (2013-17) and four-time FINA Technical Water Polo Committee member (2000-2013, 2017-19), Eugenio was an affable, yet stern, personality whose control of water polo matches was legendary.

In Mourning 2019
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26Dec2019

Day 9: Greece retains FINA World Men's Junior Water Polo title

FINA Men’s Water Polo World Junior Championships 2019
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Match 69, 13:30, JAPAN 14 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 19
Results & Teams

Match 69, 13:30, JAPAN 14 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 19

Classification 7-8

Quarters: 4-6, 5-2, 3-5, 2-6

Referees: Vlaho Radichevic (CRO), Liang Zhang (CHN)

Extra man: JPN: 4/7. USA: 9/10.

Penalties: JPN: 1/1.

Teams:

JAPAN: Tomoharu Shinto, Toi Suzuki (2), Shun Kobayashi (1), Shohei Yamada, Fumiya Tsuta (2), Naoki Aoyama, Goro Hizume, Eisuke Takahashi, Takumu Miyazawa, Yusuke Inaba (6), Yuki Maita (2), Taiyo Watanabe (1), Kentaro Tani. Head Coach: Takamitsu Nakashima.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Adrian Weinberg, Quinten Osborne, Marko Vavic (5), Tommy Gruwell (2), Leo Yuno (1), Garrett Zaan (2), Hannes Daube (3), Jacob Ehrhardt (1), Mason McQuet, Ash Molthen (4), Quinn Woodhead, Warren Loth (1), Kent Emden. Head Coach: Jack Kocur.

Report

United States of America went one better than two years ago, taking out seventh position in a breath-taking, high-scoring match. There was action aplenty in the first half with USA levelling at one and two then pushing the margin to 6-3 before Japan grabbed one back in the last second of the period. USA did the damage at two metres, the centre forwards too strong for the smaller Japanese. Tommy Gruwell scored his second extra-man goal for 7-4 and USA looked like going away. Not so; Japan scored three of the next four goals to level at seven and, guess who had three of those goals? Senior international Yusuke Inaba, of course. USA took a break and converted the play to regain the lead. There were no early celebrations as Inaba netted twice in a row to close the half at 9-8 in Japan’s favour. USA regained the advantage at 10-9, 11-10 and 12-11, before stretching it to 13-11, only for Inaba to gain his sixth goal — and 36th of the championship — on a penalty conversion 11 seconds from the final break.  Garrett Zaan with his second, Ash Molthen with his fourth and Hannes Daube with his fourth took it out to 16-12 three minutes into the final quarter. Goals were traded between Shun Kobayashi and Vavic while Vavic repeated the dose for 18-13 at 1:37 off a swift free-throw cross pass. Japan was not finished yet and Tsuta drilled from the left-hand-catch position, however, Vavic nailed his fifth with a high shot from four metres, winning the contest and the player-of-the-match award. To USA's credit was the fantastic extra-man statistic of nine from 10 — the best of the championship. The win was some minor consolation for two soul-destroying penalty shootout losses. In USA college water polo, no shootouts are played, but instead the old system of extra time, so the players are not used to this critical situation. Japan, by finishing eighth, was five places better than Belgrade 2017.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 70, 15:00, MONTENEGRO 8 SPAIN 14
Results & Teams

Match 70, 15:00, MONTENEGRO 8 SPAIN 14

Classification 5-6

Quarters: 3-5, 1-5, 1-3, 3-1

Referees: German Moller (ARG), Luca Bianco (ITA)

Extra man:  MNE: 2/4. ESP: 6/11.

Penalties: ESP: 1/1.

Teams:

MONTENEGRO: Darko Durovic, Nebojsa Vuskovic (1), Savo Cetkovic (1), Uros Vucurovic (1), Aljosa Macic, Danilo Radovic (2), Luka Murisic, Petar Mijuskovic (2), Miroslav Perkovic, Vuk Draskovic, Dusan Matkovic, Branko Franeta (1), Alen Isljamovic. Head Coach: Veljko Uskokovic.

SPAIN: Unai Aguirre, Bernat Sanahuja (5), Albert Ponferrada, Sergio Prieto, Pau Linares, Fran Valera (4), Lluc Bertran, Victor Alegre (1), Oscar Montes, Nikolas Paul (3), Oriol Rodriguez, Oscar Asensio (1), Victor Garcia. Head Coach: Svilen Ivanov.

Report

Spain moved up one position to fifth from two years ago, demoralising Montenegro, who seemed lacklustre today. Spain has been using excellent teamwork all tournament, not requiring one person to carry the heavier workload. That teamwork has carried the team through, except for that one-goal loss to Croatia in the quarter-finals. Today, if anyone led the charge, it was Fran Valera with three goals in the first quarter and another in the third. Bernat Sanahuja, such a revelation, scored four goals all around the pool, including at centre forward. Montenegro head coach Veljko Uskokovic asked for something extra from his team at the final break and his team responded with two goals from Petar Mijuskovic — another star player in Kuwait — and Nebojsa Vuskovic with three seconds left on the clock. Dusan Matkovic (MNE) was fouled out in the final quarter on his return after a two-match suspension for a brutality foul against Hungary on Tuesday. Montenegro was fifth two years ago and sixth in 2015. Spain’s Victor Alegre was red-carded in the first period for splashing an opponent after Spain had just converted the penalty goal.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 71, 16:30, ITALY 9 CROATIA 6
Results & Teams

Match 71, 16:30, ITALY 9 CROATIA 6

Classification 3-4

Quarters: 1-1, 2-2, 3-1, 3-2

Referees: Irfan Sadekov (RUS), Nikolaos Boudramis
(GRE)
Extra man: ITA: 4/20. CRO: 2/16.

Penalties: ITA:  2/3. CRO: 0/2.

Teams:

ITALY: Francisco di Donna, Massimo di Martire (1), Filippo Ferrero, Mattia Antonucci, Andrea Narciso (1), Gianpiero di Martire, Mario Guidi (1), Ettore Novara (3), Michele Mezzarobba (3), Vincenzo Tozzi, Matteo Spione, Andrea Tartaro, Francesco de Michelis. Head Coach: Carlo Silipo.

CROATIA: Jerko Jurlina, Ivan Malenica, Karlo Krekovic (1), Marin Vrdoljak (1), Luka Bajic (1), Filip Krzic, Goran Solje (1), Branimir Herceg, Jerko Penava (2), Matias Biljaka, Marko Zuvela, Lovro Paparic, Eugen Sunara. Head Coach: Josko Krekovic.

Report

This was a match of attrition and emotion that overflowed big time with Croatia struggling to handle the pressure, leading to the loss. Two bench officials and three Croatian players failed to see the match out with red cards and three others gained three majors. Three Italian players also failed to get to the final whistle. Lack of discipline killed the match for Croatia while Italy came to win via the normal course. One of the Croatian bench officials charged up the referee walkway and started “talking” to referee Sadekov, earning a red card at 1:38 in the second period. He was sent to the grandstand. At 1:58 in the third quarter, the other bench official was red-carded. That meant that Mile Smodlaka and Ivan Rukavina were out of the match. The bench troubles transferred to the water where Matias Biljaka was ejected at 0:19 and did not leave the pool, causing a penalty foul. He pleaded to the referee that he did not see the number call and was suspended. Earlier in the match big centre forward Branimir Herceg gained three major fouls. Krekovic gained his second and third at in the third quarter, robbing the team of a goal-scorer. Italy also had foul trouble with Massimo de Martire, Italy’s 2-1 scorer, Andrea Tartaro and Gianpiero de Martire in the fourth also registered three fouls. With plenty of attention on the players’ bodies, this was probably the heaviest match of the tournament. Jerko Penava had a chance to open for Croatia, but the normally reliable penalty shooter missed his first attempt two minutes into the match and failed to convert his second in the next period. Croatia’s 1-1 equaliser came via a hopeful shot from eight metres on the stroke of quarter time from Karlo Krekovic. It deflected off the defender’s arm and into goal when Francesco de Michelis had it covered. Italy went to 2-1 with Croatia recovering for 3-2 and Italy equalising through captain Mario Guidi. Novara missed his penalty attempt after the official fiasco leaving the match even at halftime. Two Novara goals nullified Croatia’s 4-3 lead and the Croatian coach saw yellow and the bench official red. Michele Mezzarobba sent in the penalty goal for 6-4 at the final break. Luka Bajic pulled one back from six metres; Andrea Narciso sent in a slider from seven metres; Penava converted extra from deep left for 7-6 at 2:04. Italy called a timeout at 1:46 and Novara nailed the goal on double extra for 8-6. Mezzarobba converted the penalty foul after Marko Zuvela gained his red card. No further goal came in the last 49 seconds and Italy had the bronze medal. European champion Italy collected another bronze to give it five gold, two silvers and three bronze medals at this level. Italy was seventh in Belgrade two years ago and Croatia was the beaten finalist.

Photos: Eszter Novak

 

Match 72, 18:00, SERBIA 4 GREECE 6
Results & Teams

Match 72, 18:00, SERBIA 4 GREECE 6

Classification 1-2

Quarters: 0-2, 1-1, 0-0, 3-3

Referees: Michiel Zwart (NED), David Gomez (ESP)

Extra man: SRB: 3/14. GRE: 2/8.

Penalties: SRB:  GRE: 1/1.

Teams:

SERBIA: Pavle Gavrilovic, Stefan Brankovic (1), Andrej Barac, Aleksa Nesic, Nemanja Stanojevic (1), Petar Mitrovic, Dorde Vucinic, Aleksa Cvetkovic (1), Vasilije Martinovic, Kristian Sulc, Luka Pijevancic, Marko Radovic (1), Vladimir Misovic. Head Coach: Uros Stevanovic.

GREECE: Stylianos Dalmaras, Efstathios Kalogeropoulos, Ioannis Alafragkis (2), Konstaninos Gkiouvetsis (2), Dimitrios Nikolaidis (1), Alexandros Papanastasiou, Konstantinos Kakaris (1), Charalampos Rompopoulos, Efstathios Papageorgiou, Michail Diplaros, Aristeidis Chalyvopoulos, Michail Goniotakis, Nikolaos Mitrakis. Head Coach: Nikolaos Karamanis.

Report

Greece became a three-time champion and a back-to-back champion with a thrilling 6-4 victory over a determined, although a little nervous, Serbia. Greece was the better team all tournament and deserved the crown as probably the best-prepared team. Tensions were above boiling point early in the match with the referee having to call the two 5 caps to the side of the pool for a chat after an altercation. Semifinal sensation Konstaninos Gkiouvetsis opened the scoring from the penalty line and had his best start with a rocket from nine metres late in the first quarter and a two-metre rebound collection for a shovel into goal at 2:33 in the second period had Greece at 3-0. Marko Radovic finally put Serbia on the board at 1:18 from halftime on extra-man attack.  The third period was scoreless with both teams having some fantastic attempts. At the Greek end, it was left many times to the tournament’s best goalkeeper, Nikolaos Mitrakis, to save the day. On one Serbian attack we blocked three successive shots. Greece missed some easier shots with a Gkiouvetsis counter-attack bounced into the bar when it was expected he would score. Charalampos Rompopoulos collected his third major and Aleksa Cvetkovic converted the near-post shot for 3-2 at 6:57. At the other end Gkiouvetsis produced some magic, rising high at the top and lobbing into the top right for 4-2. Dimitrios Nikolaidis joined the party with a superb turn at two metres to hammer the ball into goal for a three-goal margin at 4:18. The next attack and Serbia converted extra-man with a Nemanja Stanojevic missile from the top to narrow the gap. Stefan Brankovic shot on the next attack from about six metres on the right side of the pool before the defence had formed to bring it to 5-4. Greece called a timeout on extra on its attack and three passes after the restart the ball connected with the hand of Konstantinos Kakaris on the right, near post to score for 6-4.  Kristian Sulc shot on extra and the ball struck the right upright and bounced behind Mitrakis, but it did not appear to go in and this was confirmed by the VAR decision. Greece used its attack and Serbia called a timeout at nine seconds. The resulting Serbia shot hit the left upright and Greece was champion again.

 

Photos: Eszter Novak

Greece beat Serbia 6-4 for the gold medal on the final day of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships at the Al-Nasar Sport Club Kuwait.

Greece led 2-0 at the quarter and 3-1 at halftime with the third period scoreless. An action-packed final period had Greece 5-2 ahead and then 5-4 before Konstantinos Kakaris put the match beyond doubt two minutes from time. Goalkeeper Nikolaos Mitrakis, who was named the best of the tournament, repulsed many Serbian attacks to get his team over the line.

Link
20Dec2019

2019 FINA General Survey

FINA conducted and concluded a gigantic survey to assess the state of aquatics around the world. Based on the data supplied by the national federations, some significant findings have been presented. Perhaps the most wonderful statistic is the number of registered aquatic athletes in the world - almost 35 million. They can swim in more than 90,000 pools – besides the natural waters of course.

Federations News 2019
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19Dec2019

Day 8: Serbia to play Greece in Junior World Champs golden final

FINA Men’s Water Polo World Junior Championships 2019
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Match 60, 08:00, UZBEKISTAN 7 BRAZIL 22
Results & Teams

Match 60, 08:00, UZBEKISTAN 7 BRAZIL 22

Classification 17-18

Quarters: 1-5, 4-5, 0-6, 2-6

Referees: Gabor Vogel (HUN), Amirhossein Safabakhsh (IRI)

Extra man: UZB: 3/5. BRA: 4/11.

Penalties: BRA: 2/4. UZB: 1/1.

Teams:

UZBEKISTAN: Abdullo Yokubjonov, Mukhammadyusuf Dedabaev, Jakhongir Sobirjonov (1), Asadbek Kenjaev (1), Azizbek Turgunov, Asadbek Azizov, Zaven Osipyan (3), Azizbek Botirov, Javokhir Kutmonbekov, Asorbek Yusufjanov, Sukhrob Khoshimov (1), Muzaffarbek Makhmudjonov (1), Shokhboz Usmonjonov. Head Coach: Oleg Pletnev.

BRAZIL: Joao Silveira, Lucas Santos (3), Luiz Scarabelim (1), Felipe Ferreira (3), Nicholas Fichman (4), Bruno Chiappini (1), Italo Vizacre (1), Thomas Campedelli (3), Marcos Pires (2), Vincius Pessin, Gabriel Galvane (4), Joao Fernandes. Head Coach: Thiago Nascimento.

Report

Brazil clinched 17th position in its return to the championship since it finished seventh in 2013. For Uzbekistan, 18th was a few steps down on 2015 and 2011 when it finished 16th. The only other participation was 2009 when it finished 19th. Brazil was always on top and the whole team had a chance to get world championship experience. Uzbekistan worked hard for goals and goalkeeper Shokhboz Usmonjonov managed to stop two Brazilian penalty attempts. Thomas Fichman (BRA) was named the best player in water and Uzbekistan’s top player, Zaven Osipyan scored three to lift his tournament tally to 17. Javokhir Kutmonbekov was given his marching orders with a red card in the second quarter.

Pictures: Eszter Novak

 

Match 61, 09:20, CHINA 14 EGYPT 9
Results & Teams

Match 61, 09:20, CHINA 9 EGYPT 14

Classification 15-16  

Quarters: 3-2, 2-4, 2-3, 2-5

Referees: Nenad Golijanin
 (SRB), Fabio Toffoli
 (BRA)

Extra man: CHN: 3/9. EGY: 4/11.

Penalties: CHN: 1/3.

Teams:

CHINA: Xingmeng He, Boren Shi (1), Lei Yuan, Guan Ou, Beiyi Wang (4), Luobin Liu, Yingyi Gao (3), Yi Lu, Yile Cheng, Beile Zhu (1), Mingtao Wu, Haotian Zhou. Head Coach: Ji Shen.

EGYPT: Marwan Reda, Youssef Amer, Abderahman Hamed (3), Ahmed Elsapagh (2), Mahmoud Maghwry, Karim Saleh (3), Mohanad Farahat (1), Mohamed Ziyad, Mohamed Rezk, Eissa Bassel 5), Adham Saleh, Mahmoud Elzayat (1), Marwan Makarem. Head Coach: Konstantinos Vamvakaris.

Report

Egypt made sure of 15th position with a well-constructed game plan that kept smashing into the face of China. Egypt was also 15th in Belgrade, 12th in 2015 and 15th in 2011. China was 12th in Belgrade two years ago, so will be disappointed with the finish. It was 15th in 2015 and the previous attendance was 12th in 1999. While China held the quarter-time lead, it was Brazil, inspired by its star centre forward Eissa Bessel, who stepped up, going to the front at 4-3 two minutes into the second period. The margin slipped out to three before China forced its way back into the match, arriving at halftime 6-5 down. Bessel scored his fourth and fifth, either side of a Beiyi Wang score and Karim Saleh stretched it to three again. Goals were traded until 11-8 when Saleh hammered in from two metres.  Mahmoud Elzayat pushed it out to four goals with a missile from the top. Wang responded with his third for 12-9, but time — and the match — was slipping away for China. The margin went to five and a penalty block and several other saves by goalkeeper Marwan Reda sealed the match. Bessel was obviously named best in water and Wang scored four goals for China.

Footnote: China played without regular goalkeeper Junjiong Wang, who was sick.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 62, 10:40, RUSSIA SOUTH AFRICA
Results & Teams

Match 62, 10:40, RUSSIA 20 SOUTH AFRICA 10

Classification 13-14

Quarters: 4-2, 6-1, 4-3, 6-4

Referees: Noboru Yamazaki (JPN), Conor Davis (AUS)

Extra man: RUS: 5/12. RSA: 5/11.

Penalties: Nil.

Teams:

RUSSIA: Igor Chirkov, Sergei Mersh (2), Nikita Serebrennikov (2), Emil Zinnurov (3), Zamir Mirziev (1), Iaroslav Nikolaev (2), Nikita Mikhailov (4), Askar Makhiyanov (2), Valerii Pelikh (1), Ivan Vasilev (2), Danill Frolov (1), Egor Vasilev, Danila Apultchin. Head Coach: Sergei Voronin.

SOUTH AFRICA: Keegan Clark, Mogamad Mayman, Christopher Beamish, Ethan Coryndon-Baker, Todd Howard (4), Ross Stone (2), Joshua Faber, Jonathan Swanepoel (2), David MacDonald (1), William Dowsett (1), Yaseen Margro, James Hablutzel, Barnard van Rooyen. Head Coach: Jason Sileno.

Report

Russia collected 13th place, four positions down from 2017 and South Africa moved off the bottom rung in 2017 for 14th in Kuwait. Russia had two light matches (17-7 over Kuwait and 19-7 over China) to get to this encounter while South Africa had to fend off Brazil 7-6 and repulse Egypt 8-7. Russia went to 3-0 and closed the first period 4-2. Six unanswered goals set Russia apart, looking fresher, although none of these goals was on counter. South Africa was covering most of the pool and at this stage scored three to two splitting the halftime. Russia’s 12-5 advantage went to 14-6 at the final break. The final eight minutes was an enticing encounter at 6-4 with Russia getting most of its field players on the scoresheet and South African Todd Howard netting four of his own in what was an excellent tournament for the team, coming out of a challenging group that included semifinalists Croatia and Serbia and the mercurial Japan.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 63, 12:00, NEW ZEALAND 8 AUSTRALIA 9
Results & Teams

Match 63, 12:00, NEW ZEALAND 8 AUSTRALIA 9

Classification 11-12

Quarters: 3-3, 2-2, 1-1, 2-3

Referees: German Moller (ARG), Liang Zhang (CHN)

Extra man: NZL: 3/7. AUS: 3/9.

Penalties: NZL: 2/2. AUS: 1/1.

Teams:

NEW ZEALAND: Joshua de Reeper, Louie Ferigo (1), Hamish Sullivan, Louis Clark, Calum de Jager, Brandon Matthews, James Catlin, Loui Schuler (1), Sam Ratima, Matt Morris (1), Rowan Brown (3), Nicholas Paterson (2), Bae Fountain. Head Coach: Lionel Randall.

AUSTRALIA: John Hedges, Jack Rector, Matthew Murphy, Lachlan Vos (3), Matthew Oberman, James Gillfeather (1), Hugh Anstey, Charlie Negus (5), Alastair Bruce, Nicholas Taylor, Lewis Putt, Matthew Byrnes, Flynn Mais. Head Coach: Andrew Yanitsas.

Report

These Trans-Tasman rivals (named after the Tasman Sea that separates the two countries) played each other in the group and produced a real thriller with New Zealand leading 7-4 at the start of the final quarter only to lose 8-7. Australia has a silver medal from 1999 when the championships was last staged in Kuwait, but the best result in recent years was fourth back in 2011. In Belgrade it beat China for 11th. New Zealand was 18th two years ago after an eight-year hiatus when it finished 14th in Sibenik, Croatia in 2009. Both teams learned the lessons from the day-three clash and the match was level at every number to five by halftime and Australia had four leads to New Zealand’s one. The third period started with a VAR decision in favour of Australia’s Lachlan Vos. The ball went high into the bar and off the back of goalkeeper Bae Fountain into goal. Rowan Brown converted a penalty foul at a time when captain James Catlin was ousted on three major fouls. After Negus converted his penalty shot, team-mate Matthew Oberman was red-carded for misconduct and New Zealand scored at the other end, but only after the ball rebounded twice in favour of the Kiwis. Negus slid in his fifth goal on extra-man attack and less than a minute later Vos smashed in from two metres at 3:39. New Zealand called a timeout and the resulting play yielded a goal from the deep left by Louie Ferigo at 1:56 — enough time for the Kiwis to come back. However, it was not to be and neither team could score, leaving Australia the winner of the two matches between the neighbours.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 64, 13:20, HUNGARY 15 CANADA 6
Results & Teams

Match 64, 13:20, HUNGARY 15 CANADA 6

Classification 9-10  

Quarters: 8-2, 1-1, 2-2, 4-1

Referees: Harvey Hinds (CUR), Michael Brooks (NZL)

Extra man: HUN: 2/6. CAN: 4/13.

Penalties: HUN: 2/2. CAN: 0/1.

Teams:

HUNGARY: Mark Banyai, Peter Sugar (1), Botond Bobis (4), Benedek Baksa (3), Marton Magyar, Gyorgy Agh (1), Mate Dala (2), Andras Turnai, Vince Vigvari, Gergo Fekete (3), Zsombor Szeghalmi (1), Mate Aranyi, Marton Mizsei. Head Coach: Kristof Kemeny.

CANADA: Brody McKnight, Antonios Giannatsis, Bogdan Djerkovic (2), Jeremie Coté (2), Harrison Henning (2), Nick Seredjuc, Kyril Marinov, Bor Tanasijevic, Stefan Dabic, Stephen Gloade, Max MacMillan, Reuel D’Souza, Minos Kotzambasis. Head Coach: Brian Parillo.

Report

It was a promenade for Hungary, stitching up ninth place, built on an incredible 8-2 opening quarter. Hungary has been in the last four at the previous three championships and before that it’s worst position was eighth in 2011 and ninth in 2009 when it was an experimental 18&U event. With 13 medals, Hungary will have to wait another two years to add to the collection. Canada was also 10th in Belgrade. Its best performances at this level were eighth in Kuwait 1999, Dunkirk 1995, Sao Paolo 1987 and Barcelona 1983. Hungary dictated the pace in the first quarter, almost stoped in the second as Canada applied the pressure, went to 11-3 in the third before Canada grabbed two back and finished off with a 4-1 final period, flourishing with a Benedek Baksa goal from seven metres and two Gergo Fekete strikes. All credit to Canada for fighting hard against a Hungarian team that had firepower all around the pool and generally took shots before anyone else thought about it. Hungary finished the tournament strongly but Tuesday’s 15-14 group loss to Montenegro was humbling. For the record, Botond Bobis (HUN) was named player of the match.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 65, 16:00, MONTENEGRO 18 JAPAN 11
Results & Teams

Match 65, 16:00, MONTENEGRO 18 JAPAN 11

Classification 5-8 Semifinal

Quarters: 4-5, 5-3, 4-1, 5-2

Referees: Luca Bianco (ITA), Sinisa Matijasevic 
(MNE)

Extra man: MNE: 5/8. JPN: 2/10.

Penalties: JPN: 0/1.

Teams:

MONTENEGRO: Darko Durovic, Nebojsa Vuskovic (3), Savo Cetkovic (7), Uros Vucurovic (1), Aljosa Macic, Danilo Radovic, Luka Murisic (1), Petar Mijuskovic (1), Miroslav Perkovic (3), Vuk Draskovic (1), Branko Franeta (1), Alen Isljamovic. Head Coach: Veljko Uskokovic.

JAPAN: Tomoharu Shinto, Toi Suzuki (1), Shun Kobayashi, Shohei Yamada, Fumiya Tsuta (1), Naoki Aoyama, Goro Hizume (1), Eisuke Takahashi, Takumu Miyazawa (1), Yusuke Inaba (4), Yuki Maita (1), Taiyo Watanabe (2), Kentaro Tani. Head Coach: Takamitsu Nakashima.

Report

 

Montenegro burst through in the third period to take a stranglehold on the match. Earlier the story was all about Savo Cetkovic and Yusuke Inaba who scored five and three goals each. Inaba scored a fourth at 13-9, coming after a four-goal heist. Cetkovic covered himself in glory with two more goals in the last four minutes for a match-winning seven. He did everything in front of goal and took his time finding the right position to shoot and waiting sometimes for the goalie to tire. His finishing typified the dedication of the Montenegrins after losing by a goal to Serbia after leading early in the period the night before. Japan did what it normally does — swam, drove and worked hard for everything it could get. The smaller size was evident in this match and the shooters were relentless in front of goal, finding gaps that di not exist in their goal. Inaba finishes well, but it is not just about him. Many other players stepped up and took the shots that counted. It was just that in the third quarter shots were not getting off the hand of were being caught in the forest of defensive arms. Montenegro goes to the play-off for fifth and Japan will have to be content shooting for seventh.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 66, 17:20, SPAIN 13 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 12 in sudden-death penalty shootout (FT: 7-7. Pens: 6-5)
Results & Teams

Match 66, 17:20, SPAIN 13 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 12 in sudden-death penalty shootout (FT: 7-7. Pens: 6-5)

Classification 5-8 Semifinal

Quarters: 3-2, 1-3, 1-2, 2-0

Referees: Michiel Zwart (NED), Mikhail Dykman (CAN)


Extra man: ESP: 4/9. USA: 3/10.

Penalties: ESP: 1/1.

Teams:

SPAIN: Unai Aguirre, Bernat Sanahuja (+2), Albert Ponferrada (1+1), Sergio Prieto, Pau Linares, Fran Valera (2+2), Lluc Bertran (1+1), Victor Alegre, Oscar Montes (1), Nikolas Paul, Oriol Rodriguez, Oscar Asensio (2), Victor Garcia. Head Coach: Svilen Ivanov.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Adrian Weinberg, Quinten Osborne, Marko Vavic (3+2), Tommy Gruwell, Leo Yuno, Garrett Zaan, Hannes Daube (1+1), Jacob Ehrhardt (1), Mason McQuet, Ash Molthen (2+1), Quinn Woodhead (+1), Warren Loth, Kent Emden. Head Coach: Jack Kocur.

Report

For the second night in a row, United States of America lost a penalty shootout, forcing it from what could have been a top-four position on Wednesday to playing for seventh ranking on Friday. Spain made the front-running and USA had to come back for 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3. USA then shot ahead to 5-3, 6-4 and 7-5 by the close of play in the third period. Spain levelled through Albert Ponferrada (7:18) and Lluc Bertran (2:43). USA went to a timeout at 1:07 and the centre-forward backhand over-rotated, giving Spain a timeout at 0:45. Fran Valera, Ponferrada and Bertran all had their shots blocks by their defenders, regaining the ball twice. This forced the penalty shootout, something USA knows a lot about, having lost the shootout 4-1 against Greece the night before. Spain only led the match for less than six minutes until the final whistle. The shootout was eagerly watched as the first rotations scored and the third missed. Four and five converted to force it into sudden death at 11-11. The first rotation scored and on the second, Valera made it 13-12; Molten fumbled the ball and failed to shoot, sending Spain through to the play-off for fifth.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 67, 18:40, SERBIA 9 ITALY 7
Results & Teams

Match 67, 18:40, SERBIA 9 ITALY 7

Classification 1-4 Semifinal

Quarters: 1-0, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3

Referees: David Gomez (ESP), Irfan Sadekov (RUS)

Extra man: SRB:

Penalties: ITA: 1/1.

Teams:

SERBIA: Pavle Gavrilovic, Stefan Brankovic, Andrej Barac, Aleksa Nesic, Nemanja Stanojevic (1), Petar Mitrovic, Dorde Vucinic (2), Aleksa Cvetkovic (2), Vasilije Martinovic (1), Kristian Sulc (2), Luka Pijevancic, Marko Radovic (1), Vladimir Misovic. Head Coach: Uros Stevanovic.

ITALY: Francisco di Donna, Massimo di Martire (1), Filippo Ferrero, Mattia Antonucci, Andrea Narciso, Gianpiero di Martire, Mario Guidi, Ettore Novara (3), Michele Mezzarobba (1), Vincenzo Tozzi, Matteo Spione (2), Andrea Tartaro, Francesco de Michelis. Head Coach: Carlo Silipo.

Report

Fifth at August’s European Championships, Serbia toppled champion Italy in a 6-4 second half. It ended Italy’s dream of emulating the Settebello senior team that won the world crown in Korea in August. So tight was the match that it was just 1-0 to Serbia in the first quarter. Serbia appealed to the near full house with a 3-0 five minutes into the second quarter. However, Italy came back with two in 27 seconds for what would be the halftime score. Goals were traded in the third quarter, starting with Serbia and ending with Serbia, leaving a 6-4 advantage. Matteo Spione set the place alight with his centre-forward backhand to start the final period and then Serbia scored three of the next four goals with two from Kristian Sulc for 9-6. The single response in this charge was the exceptional centre forward Ettore Novara, who steered in an outside pass from the post position. It was his third goal after two wonderful scores either side of halftime. Spione earlier found himself at four metres with the goalkeeper charging out to him and he backhanded into an empty goal. It was a lapse from Pavle Gavrilovic, but it did not stop him being named player of the match. While Sulc was magical, earlier, Dorde Vucinic also scored twice, something he has being doing all championship, emerging as one of the true stars.  Every block, every steal, every missed shot was applauded by the roaring crowd, who also had the drama of the second semifinal to watch.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 68, 20:00, CROATIA 6 GREECE 15
Results & Teams

Match 68, 20:00, CROATIA 6 GREECE 15

Classification 1-4 Semifinal

Quarters: 2-4, 3-4, 0-5, 1-2

Referees: Darren Spiritosanto (USA), Adil Aimbetov (KAZ)

Extra man: CRO: 1/7. GRE: 5/7.

Penalties: CRO: 4/4. GRE: 1/1.

Teams:

CROATIA: Jerko Jurlina, Ivan Malenica, Karlo Krekovic, Marin Vrdoljak (2), Luka Bajic (1), Filip Krzic, Goran Solje, Branimir Herceg, Jerko Penava (2), Matias Biljaka, Marko Zuvela (1), Lovro Paparic, Eugen Sunara. Head Coach: Josko Krekovic.

GREECE: Stylianos Dalmaras, Efstathios Kalogeropoulos (2), Ioannis Alafragkis (1), Konstaninos Gkiouvetsis (5), Dimitrios Nikolaidis (2), Alexandros Papanastasiou (4), Konstantinos Kakaris, Charalampos Rompopoulos, Efstathios Papageorgiou, Michail Diplaros, Aristeidis Chalyvopoulos, Michail Goniotakis (1), Nikolaos Mitrakis. Head Coach: Nikolaos Karamanis.

Report

Greece put on a display worthy of the senior world championships. The returning champion, playing without regular coach Theodoros Lorantos, who was red-carded in Wednesday’s quarter-final clash with United States of America, smashed Croatia, especially in the third quarter where Croatian shots peppered the goal but refused to go in. Lorantos received a two-match suspension from FINA and subsequently was not able to be in attendance at tonight’s match or Friday’s gold-medal final. The display was something we enjoyed, at least. It was magnificent on many fronts, not least the shooting prowess of Konstaninos Gkiouvetsis — the Greek Rocket — sending in his howitzer rounds like he was on a battlefield. He had five to his name halfway through the third period. It was a battlefield, such was the heavy play. Tensions erupted in the third period as Marko Zuvela was suspended for “over-zealous” play. He scored the fourth goal for Croatia, almost light years away as a minute later the last Croatian goal was notched up before Greece went on a rampage like a Hong Kong student riot. Eight goals managed to zip past a despairing Jerko Jurlina before team-mate Luka Bajic final squared one away on extra in the final minute — 16 minutes since the previous Croatian strike. At the other end everything Croatia put into the zone was blocked. Nothing could get through as goals became a distant memory. Much of that can be put down to Greece’s sensational goalkeeper, Nikolaos Mitrakis, deservedly named best in water. Greece will be saying: “Bring on Serbia” in Friday’s golden finale.

 

Photos: Eszter Novak

Serbia will play defending champion Greece in the gold medal final of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships at the Al-Nasar Sport Club Kuwait on Friday.

Link
18Dec2019

FINA IN MOURNING – Chief Olatokunbo Thomas (NGR)

FINA learnt with great sadness about the recent loss of its Honorary Member, Chief Olatokunbo Thomas, from Nigeria. Chief Thomas was 76 and passed away after a short illness.

After serving FINA as a distinguished member of its Swimming Technical Committee, Chief Thomas was elected to the FINA Bureau in 2000 and remained in this role until 2013. From then, he was a FINA Honorary Member.

A prestigious lawyer in his country, Chief Thomas had a pivotal role in the development of Swimming and Aquatics in Nigeria and greatly contributed to the progress of our Sport in Africa.

In Mourning 2019
Link
18Dec2019

Day 7: Serbia-Italy; Croatia-Greece semifinals at Junior Water Polo Champs

FINA Men’s Water Polo World Junior Championships 2019
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Match 50, 08:00, CHINA 19 RUSSIA 7
Results & Teams

Match 50, 09:20, CHINA 7 RUSSIA 19

Quarters: 1-5, 3-4, 1-4, 2-6

Referees: Amirhossein Safabakhsh (IRI), Noboru Yamazaki (JPN)

Extra man:  CHN: 3/10. RUS: 3/9.

Penalties: RUS: 1/1.

Teams:

CHINA: Junjiong Wang, Xingmeng He (1), Boren Shi (1), Lei Yuan, Guan Ou, Beiyi Wang (1), Luobin Liu (1), Yingyi Gao (3), Yi Lu, Yile Cheng, Beile Zhu, Mingtao Wu, Haotian Zhou. Head Coach: Ji Shen.

RUSSIA: Igor Chirkov, Sergei Mersh (1), Nikita Serebrennikov, Emil Zinnurov (2), Zamir Mirziev (1), Iaroslav Nikolaev, Nikita Mikhailov (4), Askar Makhiyanov (1), Valerii Pelikh (5), Ivan Vasilev (3), Danill Frolov (1), Egor Vasilev (1), Danila Apultchin. Head Coach: Sergei Voronin.

Report

Russia earned a shot at 13th place with a resounding 19-7 victory over China. The power behind the win was Valerii Pelikh with five goals, three from centre forward with one a superb, controlled turn, baulk and shot. With a 9-4 advantage at halftime, Russia was always going to win and surged to 13-5 by the final break. China had to work for every goal and captain Yingyi Gao was tireless, scoring three into the bargain. China will go to the play-off for 15th.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 51, 09:20, BRAZIL 11 IRAN 8
Results & Teams

Match 51, 10:40, BRAZIL 11 IRAN 8

Quarters: 4-1, 2-0, 3-5, 2-2

Referees: David Gomez (ESP), Peter La Marque
(RSA)

Extra man: BRA: ¼. IRI: 2/7.

Penalties: BRA: 2/2. IRI: 1/1.

Teams:

BRAZIL: Joao Silveira, Lucas Santos, Luiz Scarabelim, Felipe Ferreira, Nicholas Fichman (1), Bruno Chiappini, Italo Vizacre (5), Thomas Campedelli (1), Raul Morales, Marcos Pires (3), Vincius Pessin (1), Gabriel Galvane, Joao Fernandes. Head Coach: Thiago Nascimento.

IRAN: Mohammad Bayat, Omid Aghaei (2), Seyeedalireza Pourang, Khashayar Ghareh, Hossein Lalehsiahpirani (3), Mohammadamin Hassany, Mahdi Barzegarisharifabad, Pouria Fatehi, Amirreza Jalilipour (1), Amirali Moradinoghondar (1), Ali Lotfi, Omid Khosor (1), Mohammad Hassany. Head Coach: Gholami Majid.

Report

Brazil led 7-2 early in the third period and then had to withstand a torrid Iranian comeback before settling on the victory. Brazil will now play for the 17th classification and Iran will go to the 19th-place classification. Brazil started with four goals, kept Iran scoreless in the second quarter went to 8-3 before Iran awoke and scored three straight for 8-5. Goals were traded either side of the final break so at 6:00 Iran was in striking distance at 9-7 down. A big defensive game ensnared the match and it was not until 3:17 that Thomas Campedelli gave Brazil breathing space with a score on extra-man attack for 10-7. Iran tried hard and took a timeout with a minute and a half left, but turned the ball over, dowsing the fire. Marcos Pires scored from close in and Hossein Lalehsiahpirani scored his third from the penalty line flour seconds from time for the final result. Italo Vizacre, named player of the match, scored the longest shot of the competition when he fired a projectile from 20m to close the third period for 9-6 when there was just 1.5 seconds left on the clock at the restart from a goal. It was his fifth goal of the match.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 52, 10:40, SOUTH AFRICA 8 EGYPT 7
Results & Teams

Match 52, 12:00, SOUTH AFRICA 8 EGYPT 7

Quarters: 1-1, 1-2, 3-2, 3-2

Referees: Nenad Golijanin
(SRB), Gabor Vogel (HUN)

Extra man: RSA: 5/7. EGY: 5/8.

Penalties: RSA: 1/1.

Teams:

SOUTH AFRICA: Keegan Clark, Mogamad Mayman, Christopher Beamish, Ethan Coryndon-Baker, Todd Howard (4), Ross Stone (1), Joshua Faber (1), Jonathan Swanepoel (2), David MacDonald, William Dowsett, Yaseen Margro, James Hablutzel, Barnard van Rooyen. Head Coach: Jason Sileno.

EGYPT: Marwan Reda, Youssef Amer, Abderahman Hamed, Ahmed Elsapagh (1), Mahmoud Maghwry, Karim Saleh, Mohanad Farahat (5), Mohamed Ziyad, Mohamed Rezk, Eissa Bassel (1), Adham Saleh, Mahmoud Elzayat, Marwan Makarem. Head Coach: Konstantinos Vamvakaris.

Report

This was the clash of the African continent with the last five matches between the pair yielding a win each and three draws. It was similar today with the first period 1-1 and the second 2-2 for most of the quarter before Mohanad Farahat broke the deadlock with an excellent six-metre-foul rocket. Todd Howard was at his best with South Africa’s two goals. The margin pushed out to two at the start of the third period as Eissa Bassel turned at centre forward for the easiest of goals. Jonathan Swanepoel lifted South African spirits with identical shots from the top in two minutes to draw level. Then Joshua Faber’s conversion of penalty foul needed a VAR decision to give South Africa the lead once more. Farahat responded on extra from the top and the match had its third level score. Egypt tried a ploy off a timeout, to no avail and the match went to the fourth period even. Two wonderful shots took South Africa to 7-5 with Howard netting a third while heavily defended deep left and Ross Stone used the next attack to gain a six-metre foul and proceeded to send in a spectacular three-quarter helicopter backhand. Farahat nailed his fourth on extra from the top for 7-6 at 4:47 and then converted extra at 3:11 to level and enthralling match. Howard gained his fourth when on extra-man attack, he snapped the ball in from two metres before the defender had time to leave. It was 8-7 at 2:50. Both teams had shots blocked. South Africa attacked and gained an exclusion foul, going to a timeout at 1:12. South Africa botched the attack and Egypt called a timeout. The final pass went to Mahmoud Elzayat who shot from seven metres and Keegan Clark blocked and the ball rebounded high and came down on the line necessitating a VAR decision. No goal! South Africa retained the ball for 20 seconds and had the victory. Howard was named best in water. South Africa will now play Russia for 13th place and Egypt will clash with China for 15th position on Thursday.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 53, 12:00, NEW ZEALAND 4 HUNGARY 20
Results & Teams

Match 53, 12:00, NEW ZEALAND 4 HUNGARY 20

Quarters: 2-6, 1-1, 0-5, 1-8

Referees: Hatem Gaber
(EGY), Liang Zhang (CHN)

Extra man: NZL: 0/7. HUN: 3/8.

Penalties: HUN: 1/2.

Teams:

NEW ZEALAND: Joshua de Reeper, Louie Ferigo, Hamish Sullivan, Louis Clark, Calum de Jager, Brandon Matthews, James Catlin (2), Loui Schuler, Sam Ratima, Matt Morris, Rowan Brown (1), Nicholas Paterson (1), Bae Fountain. Head Coach: Lionel Randall.

HUNGARY: Mark Banyai, Peter Sugar, Botond Bobis (4), Benedek Baksa (2), Marton Magyar (2), Gyorgy Agh (3), Mate Dala (3), Andras Turnai (1), Vince Vigvari (1), Gergo Fekete (1), Zsombor Szeghalmi (3), Mate Aranyi, Marton Mizsei. Head Coach: Kristof Kemeny.

Report

Hungary, still stunned by the one-goal loss to Montenegro the night before, made sure of its quest to play for the highest spot possible, in this case, ninth. A 3-0 start shifted to 6-2 by quarter time and 7-2 at the start of the second. To the Kiwis’ credit, they then kept Hungary scoreless for the rest of the period and even scored off a rebound by captain James Catlin in the final minute for 7-3. Hungary shut out the Kiwis in the third and managed to get centre forward Louis Clark and Matt Morris out on three fouls.  The five-goal haul included a penalty strike and two magnificent counter-attack conversions. New Zealander Rowan Brown flicked a rebound over the head of Hungarian goalkeeper Mark Banyai to start the fourth. The juggernaut Hungarians took over and rattled in four goals before New Zealand called a timeout to try and arrest the charge, but there was no change to the scoreboard. In fact, Hungary netted four more  and Mate Dala was named player of the match. New Zealand now goes to the play-off for 11th, a huge step up from 18th two years ago in Belgrade, Serbia. Hungary, European bronze medallist and a three-time winner and 13-time medallist, has slipped badly from fourth two years ago.

 

Match 54, 13:20, AUSTRALIA 8 CANADA 11
Results & Teams

Match 54, 13:20, L47 AUSTRALIA 8 CANADA 11

Quarters: 1-1, 3-4, 2-2, 2-4

Referees: Harvey Hinds (CUR), German Moller (ARG)

Extra man: AUS: 4/9. CAN: 6/9.

Penalties: Nil.

Teams:

AUSTRALIA: John Hedges, Jack Rector (1), Matthew Murphy, Lachlan Vos (2), Matthew Oberman, James Gillfeather, Hugh Anstey (1), Charlie Negus (4), Alastair Bruce, Nicholas Taylor, Lewis Putt, Matthew Byrnes, Flynn Mais. Head Coach: Andrew Yanitsas.

CANADA: Brody McKnight, Antonios Giannatsis, Bogdan Djerkovic (3), Jeremie Coté (5), Harrison Henning (1), Nick Seredjuc, Kyril Marinov, Bor Tanasijevic, Stefan Dabic, Stephen Gloade, Max MacMillan, Reuel D’Souza (2), Minos Kotzambasis. Head Coach: Brian Parillo.

Report

The clash of the Commonwealth nations went in favour of Canada after six tied scores. The final 4-2 period was the difference and the match was dominated by big scorers, no more than senior international Jeremie Coté with five and four to Australian captain Charlie Negus. It was a tight opener with a goal each and an up-tempo second spell as Canada went to 3-1; Australia levelling at three and four. Negus scored at 0:13 and the Aussies took Coté for granted as he slammed in the 5-4 goal with just seconds to spare. Australia levelled for the third time through Negus to start the third quarter. Coté quickly restored order for Canada on extra and Harrison Henning made it a two-goal margin once again, receiving an angled cross pass to two metres, steering it in from on high. Negus converted a quick extra-man attack in the bottom left for 6-7 inside the last minute to tie the period, but trail 7-6. On the first Aussie attack, Negus latched on to a cross pass meant for the player behind him and whipped it into goal for the fifth tied score. Hugh Anstey drilled one from the top and Australia had its second lead. Coté snapped in his third goal when poorly guarded and Bogdan Djerkovic did what he does best at two metres to regain the lead for Canada. Coté did more damage from deep left on extra and the two-goal margin was restored, again. Djerkovic put the match beyond Australia with a fumbled centre forward goal that he would be happy with at 1:53. Canada botched a timeout play and Australia had a shot blocked, the match dying as a contest. Canada will now take on Hungary for ninth place and Australia will have another Commonwealth clash, with New Zealand — this time for 11th position — whom Australia needed a huge comeback to beat 8-7 on day three.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 49, 14:40, UZBEKISTAN 23 KUWAIT 9
Results & Teams

Match 49, 14:40, UZBEKISTAN 23 KUWAIT 9

Quarters: 5-5, 7-0, 7-3, 4-1

Referees: Luca Bianco (ITA), Mikhail Dykman (CAN)


Extra man: UZB: 6/11. KUW: 1/9.

Penalties: UZB: 1/2. KUW: 3/5.

Teams:

UZBEKISTAN: Abdullo Yokubjonov, Mukhammadyusuf Dedabaev (1), Jakhongir Sobirjonov (2), Asadbek Kenjaev (1), Azizbek Turgunov (1), Asadbek Azizov, Zaven Osipyan (3), Azizbek Botirov (1), Javokhir Kutmonbekov (7), Asorbek Yusufjanov (1), Sukhrob Khoshimov (5), Muzaffarbek Makhmudjonov (1), Shokhboz Usmonjonov. Head Coach: Oleg Pletnev.

KUWAIT: Yousef Almotar, Abdullah Jasem (2), Saud Alotaibi (1), Ali Hasan, Abduirahman Alwazan, Manaf Almajadi, Abdulwahab Hasan, Mobarak Dashti (5), Hassan Dashti, Abdullah Alhammad, Mohammad Ashkanani (1), Yousef Alfaressi, Sultan Alsultan. Head Coach: Markos Markoglou.

Report

Uzbekistan will play Brazil for 17th position on Thursday while host Kuwait will clash with Iran for 19th. Uzbekistan had the faster swimmers and caned Kuwait on counter-attack. It was sad for Kuwait, as at 5-5 by the end of the first quarter, the match was going well. However, Uzbekistan countered at every opportunity to win the period 8-0. The third also went well for the Uzbeks, winning 7-3. The assault continued in the last, although Kuwait was still exciting the crowd with its devotion to duty and occasional goal. In its six matches, Kuwait has scored 45 goals.

Referee Luca Bianco (ITA) — Photos Eszter Novak

Match 55, 16:00, SERBIA 10 MONTENEGRO 9
Results & Teams

Match 55, 16:00, SERBIA 10 MONTENEGRO 9

Quarters: 1-1, 2-4, 4-2, 3-2

Referees: Darren Spiritosanto (USA), Irfan Sadekov (RUS)

Extra man: SRB: 4/13. MNE: 3/10.

Penalties: MNE: 1/1.

Teams:

SERBIA: Pavle Gavrilovic, Stefan Brankovic (3), Andrej Barac (1), Aleksa Nesic, Nemanja Stanojevic (1), Petar Mitrovic, Dorde Vucinic (4), Aleksa Cvetkovic, Vasilije Martinovic, Kristian Sulc (1), Luka Pijevancic, Marko Radovic, Vladimir Misovic. Head Coach: Uros Stevanovic.

MONTENEGRO: Darko Durovic, Nebojsa Vuskovic (4), Savo Cetkovic, Uros Vucurovic (1), Aljosa Macic (1), Danilo Radovic (2), Luka Murisic, Petar Mijuskovic (1), Miroslav Perkovic, Vuk Draskovic, Branko Franeta, Alen Isljamovic. Head Coach: Veljko Uskokovic.

Report

This was an unusual clash in that the two countries were once combined and won this championship in 2003 and 2005. Serbia went on to win the crown in its own right in 2011 and 2015 and two years ago, at home, claimed the bronze medal. Montenegro has yet to win a medal in its name at this level. Despite the title it was all about now and what could happen in the pool today and these even teams showed skills beyond their years. There were counters, solid centre-forward play and brilliant defence. Centre forwards were gaining exclusions on which to build the attack, rather than fire individual goals. There was tension throughout and when Serbia came back to level the match a minute from three-quarter time, the match was ON. The earlier play was dominated by the finishing of Dorde Vucinic for Serbia and Montenegro’s Nebojsa Vuskovic. They were imposing a scorched-earth policy as they scored from around the arc at will — both netting four goals. Scores were tied at one, two, three and then Montenegro started dominating, going to 5-3 at the halftime break; 6-4 and 7-5 three minutes from the final-quarter buzzer. Serbia thrust back through Andrej Barac on counter with a lob after a long pass from the goalkeeper and then Kristian Sulc levelled with an outside explosion, the last score of the period. Petar Mijuskovic, such a star this week, came on to the scoresheet with what appeared an easy centre-forward turn three minutes into the fourth. The Stefan Brankovic factor was exposed by Serbia, the lanky player rising high for consecutive goals for a Serbian 9-8 advantage. Aljosa Macic barred the ball into goal from seven metres for 9-9 at 3:26. Serbia called a timeout and Brankovic made it three Russian goals in a row for the all-important 10-9 lead at 2:19. It progressed to the final minute and Russia attacked with its shot being tipped over the back line at 0:35. Montenegro stole the ball at 0:19 and the call for a timeout stopped the clock at 0:17. The resulting shot came from Danilo Radovic, but it was blocked and Serbia progressed as the first semifinalist.

Footnote: Dusan Matkovic was not on the bench for Montenegro, having been suspended for brutality from Tuesday’s victory over Hungary. He was cited following the match after review and was given a two-match suspension, thus missing Thursday’s semifinals.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 56, 17:20, SPAIN 6 CROATIA 7
Results & Teams

Match 56, 17:20, SPAIN 6 CROATIA 7

Quarters: 3-1, 1-2, 0-3, 2-1

Referees: Michiel Zwart (NED), Sinisa Matijasevic
(MNE)

Extra man: ESP: 3/13. CRO: 2/9.

Penalties: CRO: 1/1.

Teams:

SPAIN: Unai Aguirre, Bernat Sanahuja (1), Albert Ponferrada (1), Sergio Prieto, Pau Linares (1), Fran Valera (1), Lluc Bertran, Victor Alegre, Oscar Montes (1), Nikolas Paul, Oriol Rodriguez (1), Oscar Asensio, Victor Garcia. Head Coach: Svilen Ivanov.

CROATIA: Jerko Jurlina, Ivan Malenica, Karlo Krekovic, Marin Vrdoljak (1), Luka Bajic, Filip Krzic (1), Goran Solje, Branimir Herceg (2), Jerko Penava (2), Matias Biljaka (2), Marko Zuvela, Lovro Paparic, Eugen Sunara. Head Coach: Josko Krekovic.

Report

European silver medallist Spain had the game going to plan in the first quarter, holding out Croatia 3-1 with Albert Ponferrada sending in the skinniest of shots, squeezing it in the bottom right from his top-right position. Fortune swung the way of Croatia in the second spell with Matias Biljaka scoring from wide left and Marin Vrdoljak making it 4-3 from the penalty line after Spanish captain Oriol Rodriguez drilled one from the right. Jerko Penava levelled when his shot from deep left bounced off the hands of goalkeeper Unai Aguirre. The wild shooting of the first half was curtailed in the second as teams aimed for any advantage. One of the best goals so far was Branimir Herceg’s second goal as he drove to goal, accepted a high pass, had his head under water, waved the ball a few times in the face of Aguirre and scored. When Filip Krzic came in from deep right to score, Croatia was 6-4 ahead and Spain scoreless for nearly nine minutes. The pain for Spain continued until three-quarter time as Croatia maintained its two-goal margin and Spain had crossed Croatia’s line just once in 17 minutes. Spain levelled through Fran Valera on extra from the six-metre line after Oscar Montes had earlier narrowed the gap with a cross-pass conversion on extra-man attack. That was just inside five minutes, but soon after, Croatia called a timeout and 18 seconds later, Penava converted the extra for what proved to be the winning goal. Neither teams could score for more than four minutes.  Three errors by Spain in the last few minutes put paid to any semifinals hopes. Once the wind played failed to see the free man on the far post on extra and twice the ball was fired from the top into the belly of the goalkeeper. That, and the fact the team did not press the ball in the dying seconds to force a possible draw and the shootout. Pre-tournament favourite Spain now has to battle the 5-8 semifinals. Croatia has a chance to make the final and go one better than the silver medal of 2017.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 57, 18:40, ITALY 17 JAPAN 5
Results & Teams

Match 57, 18:40, ITALY 17 JAPAN 5

Quarters: 5-2, 5-2, 3-0, 4-1

Referees: Nikolaos Boudramis
(GRE), Vlaho Radichevic (CRO)

Extra man: ITA: 3/3. JPN: 1/4.

Penalties: JPN: 0/3

Teams:

ITALY: Francisco di Donna, Massimo di Martire (2), Filippo Ferrero, Mattia Antonucci, Andrea Narciso, Gianpiero di Martire, Mario Guidi (1), Ettore Novara (8), Michele Mezzarobba (3), Vincenzo Tozzi, Matteo Spione (2), Andrea Tartaro (1), Francesco de Michelis. Head Coach: Carlo Silipo.

JAPAN: Tomoharu Shinto, Toi Suzuki, Shun Kobayashi (1), Shohei Yamada, Fumiya Tsuta, Naoki Aoyama, Goro Hizume, Eisuke Takahashi (1), Takumu Miyazawa, Yusuke Inaba (2), Yuki Maita (1), Taiyo Watanabe, Kentaro Tani. Head Coach: Takamitsu Nakashima.

 

Report

European champion Italy is just two wins away from adding the world title to its trophy cabinet and emulate its senior team after its win in Gwangju, South Korea in August. Its reward for tonight is a face-off with Serbia in the semifinals. The courage and strength of the Italians proved a mighty hurdle for Japan, which has been surprising and stunning people with its brilliance in Kuwait. Japan’s last-gasp clincher against Australia the night before might have taken it out of the team. Italy marched to 5-2 and 10-4 at the first two breaks and crushed the Japanese fast-breaking style with some breaks of its own. Centre forward Ettore Novara relished the rumble, smashing home five goals in the first half, completely demoralising the Asian stars. The biggest gasps came when superstar senior international Yusuke Inaba, who plies his water polo trade in Romania, had two of his penalty attempts blocked by Francesco de Michelis. In the third, Japan was hesitant on attack, but at the time ticked by regained some mojo and started to make chances. However, the total Italian defence and a couple of Massimo de Martire scores left Japan scoreless and trailing 13-4 heading into the final eight minutes. Novara added three more to his tally where he was totally dominant at two metres, the Japanese failing to nullify him. The Japanese now have play Montenegro to have a shot at fifth place.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Match 58, 20:00, GREECE 15 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 12 in penalty shootout (FT: 11-11. Pens: 4-1)
Results & Teams

Match 58, 20:00, GREECE 15 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 12 in penalty shootout (FT: 11-11. Pens: 4-1)

Quarters: 2-4, 3-3, 3-2, 3-2.

Referees: Adil Aimbetov (KAZ), Michael Brooks (NZL)

Extra man: GRE: 7/13. USA: 3/14

Penalties: GRE: 2/2.

Teams:

GREECE: Stylianos Dalmaras, Efstathios Kalogeropoulos (2+1), Ioannis Alafragkis, Konstaninos Gkiouvetsis (4), Dimitrios Nikolaidis (2+1), Alexandros Papanastasiou (2+1), Konstantinos Kakaris (1), Charalampos Rompopoulos, Efstathios Papageorgiou, Michail Diplaros, Aristeidis Chalyvopoulos (+1), Michail Goniotakis, Nikolaos Mitrakis. Head Coach: Theodoros Lorantos.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Adrian Weinberg, Quinten Osborne (3), Marko Vavic, Tommy Gruwell (1), Leo Yuno, Garrett Zaan, Hannes Daube (2), Jacob Ehrhardt (3), Mason McQuet, Ash Molthen (1+1), Quinn Woodhead (1), Warren Loth, Kent Emden. Head Coach: Jack Kocur.

Report

Greece shot a perfect penalty shootout to surpass United States of America in a controversy-packed match that USA led 4-0 early. More controversy reigned with Greek head coach Theodoros Lorantos unhappy with decisions and constantly coming over the line on defence. He was warned, yellow carded and warned again. He was subsequently red-carded at 5:01 in the second quarter. He stayed close to the team yelling orders and was ushered further into the stands and even further. He was probably frustrated from the United States of America onslaught that had four goals on four attacks. That was when he gained the yellow card. Greece pulled two back by the quarter break. USA went 5-2 at the start of the second and when centre forward Konstantinos Kakaris fired in a two-metre goal, Lorantos was issued his marching orders. Greek skipper Alexandros Papanastasiou went deep left and lobbed for 5-4. Quinten Osborne, who scored the first two goals in similar fashion on extra-man attack, sent in a backhand from centre forward for 6-4.  Goals were traded to close the half, USA obviously happy with 7-5. Hannes Daube increased the margin at the start of the third with a sliding shot from deep left. Quinn Woodhead was smiling big time after bouncing in a shot from wide right, boosting the margin to four. The joy was short lived as Papanastasiou rifled in a long shot on the next attack, Osborne collected his third major foul and Dimitrios Nikolaidis slammed in the conversion off the left post for 9-7. Papanastasiou drove down the left and attracted the penalty foul, sending Konstaninos Gkiouvetsis to the line for the conversion and 9-8. The fourth quarter opened with another Gkiouvetsis penalty strike and then he scored an extra-man goal for 10-9 and the lead for the first time. The large Greek crowd was ecstatic and very noisy. USA captain Jacob Ehrhardt equalised from the top at 2:27. Greece scored a goal, but the player who retrieved the ball was inside two metres and the player he passed to sent the ball into goal illegally. A buzzer problem occurred where no one took onus for the buzz, and the stoppage lasted for more than five minutes. USA called a timeout at 1:00 and the play went to Ehrhardt who turned quickly off the right post to put away the 11-10 shot. Greece went to a timeout at 0:11 and miraculously, Efstathios Kalogeropoulos converted extra-man attack at an almost unlikely half a second from time to force the shootout. Greece shot four straight and USA had the first shot blocked and the second hit the left upright while the third was converted. The fourth Greek missile ended USA’s dreams.

Footnote: USA head coach Alex Rodriguez returned to the pool following a hospital visit that sidelined him since last Friday. Assistant coach Jack Kocur has been deputising for him.

Photos: Eszter Novak

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In the round 1-8 quarter-finals, Serbia came back from 5-3 down at halftime to best Montenegro 10-9 in a match that was level six times and the winner came from Stefan Brankovic who broke the match open with Serbia's last three goals.

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17Dec2019

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