USA confirms favourite status in Athens (GRE)
fina WOMEN’s water polo world league super final 2021
The team of USA clinched the gold in the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final, which concluded this weekend in Athens (GRE). The North Americans managed to get their 14th title in the competition, after convincingly beating the team of Hungary by 14-8 in the decisive match of the event. In the bronze-medal match, Russia was the best, defeating Canada by 10-8.
Despite the comfortable six-goal difference, the US advantage was only obtained towards the end of the game, as the scoreboard showed only a 9-8 (in favour of the winners) partial three minutes into the final period. The Magyars – despite having some opportunities to score – were then surprised by the five answered goals from the North Americans, the current Olympic and world champions. The team led by Maggie Stevens is of course favourite for the gold in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
For the match deciding the bronze medal, Russia made a remarkable recovery, after losing by a difference of three goals in the initial quarter (which ended 4-4). In the subsequent periods, the Europeans controlled operations and were more efficient in attack actions, closing the encounter at 10-8, and getting their fourth bronze medal in the competition (Russia has an additional gold, from 2008, and two silver linings).
Despite playing at home, Greece could not do better than the sixth position, after losing with Spain by 12-9 – in the final two minutes of the game, there was a 9-9 tie, but a final and convincing effort from the Iberians allowed them to score three goals, while the Hellenic side could not react on time.
Finally, in the match for positions 7-8, an Asian duel opposed Japan and Kazakhstan. The hosts of the Olympics were clearly superior, closing the encounter with a 18-10 victory. Besides the encouraging win, the Japanese team had in Yumi Arima the best scorer of this Super League, with a total of 23 goals.
1. USA; 2. Hungary; 3. Russia; 4. Canada; 5. Spain; 6. Greece; 7. Japan; 8. Kazakhstan.
The FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Super Final will be held in Tiblisi (GEO) from June 26 to July 1, 2021 and will be contested by the following eight teams: Montenegro, USA, Japan, Georgia, Greece, France, Kazakhstan and Italy.