LEN Water Polo Europa Cup, Men’s Super Final, Rijeka (CRO) – Preview

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LEN Water Polo Europa Cup, Men’s Super Final, Rijeka (CRO) – Preview

The first showdown of the year

Whenever the top male sides of Europe come together, it’s a tournament featuring the best national teams of the world. LEN’s brand new water polo competition, the Europa Cup Men’s Super Final in Rijeka (CRO) offers just that from Thursday to Sunday: a fantastic meet of the continent’s elite, teams ranked 1-7th at the 2016 Olympics, 1-6th at the 2017 World Championships are all present to fight for the title and the prize money on offer, totalling €40,000.

Teams competing in the upcoming Super Final of the LEN Europa Cup are the crème de la crème of men’s water polo. The playing format ensures that even the prelims will produce pretty tough matches: with no semi-final round in place, one loss might rule out a team from playing for the trophy and the top prize of €20,000 (runner-up receives €15,000, the bronze medal pays €5,000).

The composition of the respective groups cannot be any more exciting. In Group A, last summer’s World Championships silver medallist and 2013 world champion Hungary will enjoy the company of the superpowers of the Mediterranean. Olympic bronze medallist and 2011 world champion Italy, 2015 World Championships bronze medallist (and 4th in 2017) Greece and host of this year’s European Championships, former Olympic and world champion Spain are all here to be part of the show.

Whenever teams of the former Yugoslavia play each other, it’s always a must-see game – in Group B one of these mouth-watering fights is scheduled for each of the first three days. Thanks to a quite rarely seen scenario, Olympic champion Serbia, world champion Croatia and European silver medallist Montenegro are in the same quartet here at the Adriatic coastline. It’s somewhat bad news for the fourth team of the group France though they caused some surprise by making the cut for the Rio Olympics two years ago.

The opening day kicks off right with the re-match of last year’s World Championships astonishing semi-final between Hungary and Greece, followed by a usually hotly contested battle of Italy and Spain. Host Croatia might have a seemingly easier but still demanding start against France, then comes the heavy-weight bout of Serbia and Montenegro – it’s a replay of the 2016 European Championships gold medal game.

Winners of the round robin phase shall clash for the title on Sunday, runners-up will play in the bronze medal game – so the first three days will already be devoted to fierce battles. Interest from the media is already sky-high, broadcasters line up in numbers usual at European Championships – and LEN also offers free live stream from each and every game of the Super Final.

LEN Europa Cup, Men’s Super Final, Rijeka (CRO) – Schedule

Thursday, 5 April
16:00 Hungary v Greece
17:30 Italy v Spain
19:00 France v Croatia
20:30 Serbia v Montenegro

Friday, 6 April
16:00 Hungary v Italy
17:30 Croatia v Montenegro
19:00 Serbia v France
20:30 Spain v Greece

Saturday, 7 April
16:00 Italy v Greece
17:30 France v Montenegro
19:00 Serbia v Croatia
20:30 Hungary v Spain

Sunday, 8 April 2018
16:00 For places 7-8
17:30 For places 5-6
19:00 Bronze Medal Game
20:30 Men’s Europa Cup Final

For free live streaming of each game, live scoring, stats and play-by-play action visit www.len.eu

4 April 2018

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