Trieste, Italy.— The top four teams — Greece, Hungary, Italy and Netherlands — eased into the semifinals on the fourth day of the women’s water polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in the Bruno Bianchi Aquatic Centre today.
By making the semifinals, two teams are within a day of knowing whether they will be joining eight other nations in Tokyo this July for the Olympic competition.
Greece was the first team to settle a semifinal berth on "Super Saturday" with a comfortable 22-3 margin over Slovakia. In fact, all matches were by big margins, as expected. Hungary swept past France 20-7, Italy bettered Israel 15-6 and Netherlands brushed off Kazakhstan 19-6.
All teams used their benches, giving valuable time in the water at this level and saving vital energy for the matches ahead.
In the crucial do-or-die round of 1-4 semfinals, Netherlands plays Greece and Hungary fronts Italy — both tantalising encounters.
While the top four have much to gain — and lose — the other four teams will have their mini tournament, which will be just as fiercely contested.
Saturday Semifinal Programme:
Match 17, 14:00, KAZ v SVK
Match 18, 16:00, FRA v ISR
Match 19, 18:00, NED v GRE
Match 20, 20:00, HUN v ITA