Olga Kamardina, FINA correspondent in Russia

The finals are set! With 20 matches behind us and over 200 goals scored this week it was the only appropriate climax. United States brushed Spain in front of the electric crowd to book their gold performance against Russia, which in its turn drained much energy defeating Australia. If the US final’s presence never looked in doubt, - defending champions wherever they go have been possessing FINA World Cup for the two terms, the locals can be congratulated on the breakthrough as never before they brought home the win. For the first time in recent 21 years Russians will come out to play in the gold game, last seen in Nancy, France, lost to Netherlands.

Photo: Credit to UgraMegaSport

 The bronze will be a good clash between world’s #2, European #3 Spain and Australia, coming as a replay of the group A game in Surgut. Sharing points 3 days ago, they could have guessed the outcome, and evidently saved up their best for the last. Previous edition of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup saw Red Fury and “5th continent” landing podium - on bronze and silver at once, which is hardly possible now, as there is just one medal left on offer for them in Surgut.

Placement matches will not be an easy road though. Teams, which have just lost, are sad, and angry, and thirsty for wins. At least for a one, to seal the World Cup on a high, and come back home hot ready to work. New Zealand will meet South Africa for the 7th, and China is going to give a fight for the Maple Leaves. All 1500 tickets for the finals are sold out as they were for free, and are in the red as demand many times exceeds offer. There is a few hours left for the final kicks-off, which are doomed to open up the new era of FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup history.

Photo: Credit to UgraMegaSport

FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup 2018

Competition results

Day 5, 8 September, 2018 / Semi-finals

Match #17. 15:00 L13–L16 NZL New Zealand vs.CHN People's Republic of China 6-15 (1-4, 1-4, 2-3, 2-4)

Match #18. 16:30 L14–L15 CAN Canada vs.RSA South Africa 21-2 (2-2, 6-0, 6-0, 7-0)

Match #19. 18:00 W13–W16 ESP Spain vs.USA United States of America 5-11 (0-3, 3-4, 1-2, 1-2)

Match #20. 19:30 W14–W15 AUS Australia vs.RUS Russian Federation 3-5 (2-1, 0-2, 0-1, 1-1)

Best scorers after 5 days: 1. Anna Espar Llaquet (ESP) - 15, 2. Paige Hauschild (USA) - 15, 3. Maria Bersneva (RUS) - 14, 4. Olga Gorbunova (RUS) - 14, 5. Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS) - 13, 6. Emma Louis Wright (CAN) - 12, 7. Rowie Webster (AUS) - 11, 8. Killey Neushul (USA) - 11, 9. Beatriz Ortiz Munos (ESP) - 10.

Photo: Credit to UgraMegaSport

Competition schedule

Day 6, 9 September, 2018 / Finals

Match #21. 15:00 L17–L18 NZL New Zealand vs.RSA South Africa

Match #22. 16:30 W17–W18 CHN People's Republic of China vs.CAN Canada

Match #23. 18:00 L19–L20 ESP Spain vs.AUS Australia

Match #24. 19:30 W19–W20 USA United States of America vs.RUS Russian Federation