Budapest, Hungary, July 28.— United States of America stormed to a record fifth FINA World Championship women’s water polo crown, defeating Spain 13-6 in the gold-medal final at the Alfred Hajos Pool here tonight.
It wasn’t all easy for the Olympic, World, World Cup and World League champion, leading just 5-3 at halftime before two four-goal blasts had Spain reeling. Kiley Neushul starred with four goals and Tournament Most Valuable Player Madeline Musselman three.
For Spain, Anna Espar netted three as the North Americans proved that they are indeed the best in the world.
Olympic bronze medallist Russia claimed the bronze medal with a 11-9 victory over Canada.
Russia took control of the match in the second quarter and never relinquished the lead, going four goals up in the third period before Canada fought hard to narrow the margin to one twice in the final quarter. Daria Ryzkhova netted three goals for Russia while Canada's Monika Eggens scored four for 18 goals in the championship.
In classification matches earlier in the day, Greece defeated Australia 8-6 for seventh position, built on an 8-2 lead late in the third period. Christina Tsoukala top-scored for Greece with three goals. Hungary secured fifth place with an 8-4 decision over Italy. Hungary was never headed and led by three goals twice in the final quarter. Hungarian captain Rita Keszthelyi delighted the crowd with three goals and 16 for the tournament while Italy's Roberta Bianconi and Arianna Garibotti scored four each.
Media All Star Team: Goalkeeper: Laura Estes (ESP). Centre forward: Paula Leiton (ESP). Field players: Roberta Bianconi (ITA), Monika Eggens (CAN), Rachel Fattal (USA), Rita Keszthelyi (HUN), Madeline Musselman (USA).
Tournament MVP: Madeline Musselman (USA).
Top scorer: Roberta Bianconi (ITA) 20 goals.
Match 45, 12:00, AUSTRALIA 6 GREECE 8
Match 46. 13:30, ITALY 8 HUNGARY 10
Match 47. 15:00, RUSSIA 10 CANADA 9
Match 48, 20:30, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 13 SPAIN 6