The most important water polo competition in 2017 gets underway this weekend. The water polo tournament at the 17th FINA World Championships starts in Budapest on Sunday. 16 male and 16 female teams are going to fight for medals till July 29th.
World Championships on waterpology.com
Reports from Alfred Hajos complex you’ll find on our website.
Also, you can follow the schedule and all results at the page:
Serbia and the United States against the others
MEN’S WATER POLO TOURNAMENT (17TH – 29TH JULY)
Group A: Brazil, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Canada.
Group B: France, Australia, Italy, Hungary.
Group C: Spain, Serbia, Greece, South Africa.
Group D: USA, Japan, Croatia, Russia.
The story about favourites in the men’s competition begins with Serbia, of course. Serbia has lost just three games in the past three and a half years: against Hungary (6:8 in the group stage at the 2014 European championships), against Montenegro (13:15 in the preliminary of the 2016 World League) and against Brazil (5:6 in the group stage at the 2016 Olympic Games). Since 2014 the Serbs have won nine gold medals at nine major competitions in a row (Olympic title, World title, two European golds, four golds in the World league and one in the World Cup). By winning the Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro this generation achieved its main goal. Maybe they have less pressure after that success but they are still “hungry” for medals.
Several teams want to replace Serbia on the throne and they have real chances to do that. Croatia (2nd at the 2015 World Championships, 2nd at the 2016 Olympics, 3rd in the 2017 World League) seeks a revenge for two disappointing defeats in final games against Serbia (4-11 at the 2015 World Championships and 7-11 at the 2016 Olympic Games).
Hungary doesn’t want to disappoint fans. The Hungarians won the gold at the 2013 World Championships, but after that, they didn’t have a much success. Two silver medals (World League and World Cup) and two bronzes (both at European championships) are a much less than their ambitions. Italy (3rd at the 2016 Olympic Games, 2nd in the 2017 World League) is always a candidate for a podium. Montenegro (2nd at the 2013 WCH, 2nd at the 2016 European Championships, 4th at the 2016 Olympic Games) is one of the toughest rivals for Serbia. The Greeks surprised at the 2015 World Championships when they won the bronze. They are maybe able for a new feat. The USA won the 4th place in the 2017 World league, so the Americans show they are coming back in a circle of favourites. 7th place at the Olympic Games in Rio was a bad moment. Spain, Russia, Australia… also, have big ambitions.
WOMEN’S WATER POLO TOURNAMENT (16TH – 28TH JULY)
Group A: Italy, Brasil, Canada, China.
Group B: New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, USA.
Group C: Japan, Netherlands, Hungary, France.
Group D: Australia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Greece.
Like at the men’s tournament, in the women’s competition one favourite stands out. It is the US team, which won 8 gold medals in a row in the past three and a half years (Olympic title, World title, 4 in World League, Panamerican Games and World Cup).
The Hungarians are the European champions, but they haven’t won a medal at a World competition (Olympic Games, World Championships, World League) since the 2013 World Championships (bronze). Upcoming championships will be a big chance for them to return to the throne after 12 years. Besides the USA and Hungary in the hunt for medals are: Italy (2nd at the 2016 Olympic Games, 3rd at the 2015 WCH, 3rd at the 2016 European Championships), The Netherlands (Olympic vice-champion and the silver medal winner at the 2016 ECH), Russia (3rd at the 2016 Olympic Games), Spain (world champion at the 2013 WCH), Australia, Canada, Greece…
o Belgrade was a host of the first World championships in 1973. Hungary won the title.
o European teams have won all 16 gold medals at the men’s World Championships. Serbia is the most successful with 5 titles (as Yugoslavia in 1986 and 1991, as Serbia & Montenegro in 2005 and, as Serbia in 2009 and 2015). Hungary and Italy have three golds each, Soviet Union and Spain two titles each and Croatia one gold.
o Women’s water polo competition was launched in Madrid 1986. The first champion was Australia and the most successful team is the USA squad with 4 titles (in 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2015). The USA is followed by Hungary (2 titles), Italy (2), Australia (1), Greece (1), The Netherlands (1) and Spain (1).
o Yugoslavia and Italy played an epic final game at the 1986 WCH in Madrid. The match has been ended after 8 extra times! Igor Milanovic scored the winner 0.4 seconds before the end of the 8th extra time and Yugoslavia defeated Italy 12-11.
o Never in the history of the Championships same nation have won both men’s and women’s titles in a single edition of the competition.
1986 Madrid: Australia
1991 Perth: Netherlands
1994 Rome: Hungary
1998 Perth: Italy
2001 Fukuoka: Italy
2003 Barcelona: USA
2005 Montreal: Hungary
2007 Melbourne: USA
2009 Rome: USA
2011 Shanghai: Greece
2013 Barcelona: Spain
2015 Kazan: USA
1973 Belgrade: Hungary
1975 Cali: Soviet Union
1978 West Berlin: Italy
1982 Guayaquil: Soviet Union
1986 Madrid: Yugoslavia
1991 Perth: Yugoslavia
1994 Rome: Italy
1998 Perth: Spain
2001 Fukuoka: Spain
2003 Barcelona: Hungary
2005 Montreal: Serbia and Montenegro
2007 Melbourne: Croatia
2009 Rome: Serbia
2011 Shanghai: Italy
2013 Barcelona: Hungary
2015 Kazan: Serbia