Water Polo World Championship

USA retain Women’s Water Polo World Championship crown, Russia edges Canada for bronze

USA ladies win gold, Budapest 2017
Photo: twitter.com/danieldaners

The USA ladies defeated Spain in the gold-medal match at the Women’s Water Polo Tournament at the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest and defended the title won in Kazan. In the bronze medal game, Canada was overpowered by the outstanding Russian squad.

On the last day of the Tournament, the spectators had an opportunity to enjoy excellent games which determined the ranking of the top 8 teams. They saw three narrow victories – Russia, Hungary, and Greece all won by two against their rivals. In two games, the result was tied in the second half. In the final match, the dominance of the USA women’s national team continued.

Unlike the men’s tournament, which will see a new world champion, women’s gold medalists are the same as in 2015. USA ladies proved too strong and remained the World Champions, keeping Spain away from repeating the 2013 success from Barcelona. The game was balanced only in the first quarter when Spain resisted the reigning champion. However, the Olympic gold medalists’ game was on point and their rival had no chance of coming even close to beating them. Adam Krikorian’s squad triumphed with 13:6 and confirmed their dominance once again.

The bronze medal game was a repetition of the 2017 World League Super Final semi-final clash, only this time the winner was different. In Shanghai, Canada defeated Russia by one and advanced to the finals where it lost to the USA, while Russia eventually won its fifth World Championship bronze medal. On Day 7 of the Women’s Water Polo World Championship, Russian ladies had a chance for revenge, and they took it. Even though Canada scored two goals at the beginning of the game, Olympic bronze winner stroke back and equalized. After a tied first quarter (3:3), Russia excelled in the second quarter which turned out to be crucial for the win. Canadian water polo players were falling behind by two at halftime (7:5) and did not manage to make a comeback in the following periods. They lost to Russia (11:9) and therefore had to satisfy with the 4th place. It must be highlighted that both Russia and Canada improved their ranking from 2015, as Russia finished 8th in Kazan and Canada was 11th.

The only Italian scorers Arianna Garibotti and Roberta Bianconi led their team scoring four goals each. However, that was not enough for the Olympic silver medalist to overpower the hosting team which finished 4th in Rio. Hungary was better in the first half (4:6) and preserved the lead by the end (8:10). The hosts recovered from the failure to advance to the semifinals and put up a great performance afterward to end up taking 5th place. Italy fell three places in comparison to Kazan, while Hungary deserved praises for the improvement, giving that it finished 9th at the 2015 World Championships.

Greek water polo players played an excellent first half against Australia and had a four-goal advantage at halftime (1:5). Aussie Stingers stepped up their game during the break and played a tied third quarter demonstrating that they refuse to give up (4:8). Greece was left scoreless in the final period, but its defense was still solid, so Australia was only able to bring down the deficit to two (6:8). In the end, Greece won the 7th place, while Aussie Stingers finished 8th. Both teams were ranked higher in Kazan two years ago – Greece was 6th, whereas Australia lost the bronze medal match and ended up as 4th.

17t1h FINA World Championships – Women’s Water Polo Tournament
Day 7 Results (July 28)

1st/2nd – USA vs. Spain 13:6 (2:1, 3:2, 5:2, 3:1)
USA: Musselman (3), Seidemann (1), Fattal (1), Steffens (2), Raney (1), K.Neushul (4), Fischer (1)
Spain: A.Espar (3), B.Ortiz (2), Leiton (1)

3rd/4th – Russia vs. Canada 11:9 (3:3, 4:2, 2:2, 2:2)
Russia: Prokofyeva (2), Karimova (1), Borisova (2), Serzhantova (2), Timofeeva (1), Ryzhkova (3)
Canada: Wright (3), Eggens (4), Bekhazi (1), McKelvey (1)

5th/6th – Italy vs. Hungary 8:10 (2:3, 2:3, 2:2, 2:2)
Italy: Arianna Garibotti (4), Roberta Bianconi (4)
Hungary: Czigany (1), Antal (1), Gurisatti (1), Keszthelyi (3), Bujka (1), Csabai (1), Szilagyi (2)

7th/8th – Australia vs. Greece 6:8 (0:1, 1:4, 3:3, 2:0)
Australia: Gofers (1), Buckling (1), Bishop (1), Webster (1), Baxter (1), Steere (1)
Greece: Tsoukala (3), V.Diamantopoulou (2), Avramidou (1), Asimaki (1), Kotsia (1), Xenaki (1)

Final Ranking

1st – USA
2nd – Spain
3th – Russia
4th – Canada
5th – Hungary
6th – Italy
7th – Greece
8th – Australia
9th – Netherlands
10th – China
11th – France
12th – New Zealand
13th – Japan
14th – Brazil
15th – Kazakhstan
16th – South Africa

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