International

Universiade: The Netherlands and Japan surprise favourites

Kharkov Russia water polo
Konstantin Kharkov (Russia) Photo: Ivica Veselinov

Several surprising results were seen in the preliminary competition of the men’s water polo tournament at the 29th Universiade in Chinese Taipei. The preliminary round was ended today.

Serbia is the only favourite that achieved three convincing wins in the preliminary phase. Serbia, coached by Dejan Savic, beat Hungary 8:4 in a crucial match in the battle for the first place in Group C. The Serbs, who has two Olympic gold medalists in the team (Jaksic and Randjelovic), demolished other two rivals – South Africa (13:1) and Canada (28:2). Hungary, which is led by the senior national team head coach Tamas Marcz, also didn’t have any problems against South Africa and Canada.

The Netherlands and Japan surprised favourites.

The Netherlands won the 1st place in Group B ahead of Italy, Australia and Argentina. After a big battle against Italy and an 8:6 win, the Dutch didn’t have a problem to beat Argentina (19:3). In the last round, The Netherlands beat Australia with ease 9:5.

Hard battle in Group D

Japan finished the race in Group D in the second place behind Russia and in front of The USA team. Both of Japan’s big rivals always send very good teams to the Universiade. But, the team from Asia, led by the 22-year-old Seiya Adachi, the 2nd best scorer at the 17th World Championships in Budapest, was a strong opponent for the USA and Russia.

In the first round, Japan beat USA 9:8, despite the Americans had a 6:3 and an 8:6 lead.

The Japanese started excellently in the last match of the preliminary competition against Russia. The Asians led 4:1, but Russia turned a deficit to an 8:6 victory. The man of the match was Danil Merkulov (3 goals). He has been playing the third big competition since the middle of the July. Merkulov was a member of the team of Russia at the World Championships in Budapest. He played at the 19th Men’s Water Polo Junior Championship in Belgrade, too.

As expected, France won the first place in the weakest group. The French took the first place in Group A ahead of Great Britain, South Korea and Chinese Taipei. France achieved the biggest victory of the preliminary competition, beating Chinese Taipei 27:0.

The preliminary competition was “warm-up” for the knockout phase. All teams will play in the eight-finals. Group winners will play against teams which won the 4th places. Runners-up will meet the third-placed squads.

SCORES, STANDINGS,  SCHEDULE

Group A
Round 1: Chinese Taipei – South Korea 4:17, France – Great Britain 17:5.
Round 2: Great Britain – South Korea 11:7, Chinese Taipei – France 0:27.
Round 3: Chinese Taipei – Great Britain 2:18, France – South Korea 16:8.

1. France 3 – 6
2. Great Britain 3 – 4
3. South Korea 3 – 2
4. Chinese Taipei 3 – 0

Group B
Round 1: Italy – The Netherlands 6:8, Australia – Argentina 13:6.
Round 2: Argentina – The Netherlands 3:19, Italy – Australia 7:3.
Round 3: Italy – Argentina 18:4, Australia – The Netherlands 5:9.

1. The Netherlands 3 – 6
2. Italy 3 – 4
3. Australia 3 – 2
4. Argentina 3 – 0

Group C
Round 1: Hungary – Canada 17:3, Serbia – South Africa 13:1
Round 2: South Africa – Canada 4:8, Hungary – Serbia 4:8.
Round 3: Hungary – South Africa 24:5, Serbia – Canada 28:2.

1. Serbia 3 – 6
2. Hungary 3 – 4
3. Canada 3 – 2
4. South Africa 3 – 0

Group D

Round 1: USA – Japan 8:9, Russia – Romania 14:5.
Round 2: Romania – Japan 7:17, USA – Russia 11:11.
Round 3: USA – Romania 12:6, Russia – Japan 8:6.

1. Russia 3 – 5
2. Japan 3 – 4
3. USA 3 – 3
4. Romania 3 – 0

Eightfinals

France – South Africa
Great Britain – Canada
South Korea – Hungary
Chinese Taipei – Serbia
The Netherlands – Romania
Italy – USA
Australia – Japan
Argentina – Russia

Women

Teams of the women’s tournament are split into two groups. Two rounds were played In both groups

Group A
1st round: Canada – New Zealand 15:4, Hungary – Japan 17:6, Russia – Great Britain 25:5.
2nd round: New Zealand – Japan 10:14, Great Britain – Hungary 3:28, Canada – Russia 11:17.

Group B
1st round: Australia – Greece 10:3, USA – France 15:4, Italy – Argentina 20:4.
2nd round: Greece – France 5:15, Argentina – USA 1:19, Australia – Italy 6:8

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