Russia claims gold at World Youth Championships

Russia beat Spain 9-7 in the gold-medal final of the FINA World Women’s Youth Championships at the Sir Owen Glenn National Aquatic Centre in Auckland.

Russia started strongly and Italy was equal to the task levelling the match at halftime. From then on Russia led and Italy had to chase.In the bronze-medal clash, Italy outgunned Netherlands 14-13 in

In the bronze-medal clash, Italy outgunned Netherlands 14-13 in sudden-death penalty shootout after the match was tied at 7-7. Both teams missed a shot in the regulation round and both scored their first two attempts in sudden death before Netherlands had its shot blocked and Italy converted.

In the play-off for fifth, outgoing world champion United States of America held out Greece — fourth in Madrid two years ago — 11-10.

China beat Hungary 16-14 in a penalty shootout for seventh place after the teams were tied at 12-12 by fulltime.

The tournament, like the youth men’s event some months ago, was played with just 11 of the 13-player rosters, with 25 seconds possession time and 15 seconds exclusion periods. This makes for a much faster style of game with more shots and plenty of goals. However, following this tournament, FINA was not expected to continue with experimental rules.

Final placings:

1. Russia
2. Spain
3. Italy
4. Netherlands
5. United States of America
6. Greece
7. China
8. Hungary
10.New Zealand
14.South Africa


Most Valuable Player: Alena Serzhantova (RUS)
Highest Goal-Scorer: Alejandra Aznar (ESP)

Tournament Team:

Goalkeeper: Antonia Young (NZL)

Field Players:

Maria Bersneva (RUS)

Aria Fischer (USA)

Alena Serzhantova (RUS)

Nicoleta Eleftheriadou (GRE)

Alejandra Aznar (ESP)

Leading goal-scorers:

26. Alejandra Aznar (ESP)

25. Aria Fischer (USA)

22. Orsolya Hertzka (HUN)

21. Paige Hauschild (USA)

20. Maria Bersneva (RUS)

Text by: Russel McKinnon (FINA).

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