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18th FINA World Championships - Gwangju (KOR)17th FINA World ChampionshipWCC

Day 6: Men's Water Polo: Spain and Italy earn gold-medal shot

World Championships 2019
Match 39, 9.30, JAPAN 15 SOUTH AFRICA 5
Results & Teams

Match 39, 9.30, JAPAN 15 SOUTH AFRICA 5

Classification 11-12

Quarters: 5-1, 4-1, 3-2, 3-1

Referees: Viktor Salnichenko (KAZ), Juan Carlos Menendez (CUB).

Extra man: JPN: 3/7. RSA: 3/5.

Penalties: RSA: 1/1.

Shot conversion: JPN: 15/32. RSA: 5/27.

Teams:

JAPAN: Katsuyuki Tanamura, Seiya Adachi (2), Haruki Koppu, Mitsuaki Shiga (1), Takuma Yoshida (2), Atsuto Iida (2), Yusuke Shimizu (3), Mitsuru Takata, Atsushi Arai (2), Yusuke Inaba (3), Keigo Okawa, Kenta Araki, Tomoyoshi Fukushima. Coach: Yoji Omoto.

SOUTH AFRICA: Lwazi Madi, Etienne Le Roux, Timothy Rezelman, Nardus Badenhorst, Ethan Coryndon-Baker, Sven Van Zyl, Jason Evezard (2), Nicholas Rodda (1), Dylan Cronje, Mark Spencer (1), Liam Neill, Donn Stewart (1), Keegan Clark. Head Coach: Paul Martin.

Report

Japan and South Africa both have building phases, probably at opposite ends of the spectrum. Japan is hosting the 2020 Olympic Games and the Asian speedsters have been trying hard to break the European fence, without success, South Africa looks like it has the basis for Fukuoka 2021. Four first-quarter counter-attack goals by Japan set the scene and the match was a case of if South Africa could breach the Japanese defence, which it did infrequently. For Japan, 11th position is a slip of one ranking on Budapest and its equal second-best position — Shanghai in 2011. Yusuke Inaba, with three goals against South Africa, finished atop the Japanese scoring with 11 goals, one better than Atsushi Arai.

Playing their final matches for South Africa were Donn Stewart (38) and Mark Spencer (39), both off whom have been captains of the team. For Stewart it was his fifth World Championships while it was the first for Spencer. Ironically, both scored in their swansongs. South Africa, in finishing 12th, equalled its 2015 Kazan finish and four places better than Budapest 2017.

Quotes

Yoji Omoto (JPN) — Head Coach

“Our biggest goal here was to beat European strong teams, but we haven’t been able to do this. We believe we have gradually improved. We feel we can do that by improving our tactics and strength. During the tournament we were still confused, but we are still trying to go around. Looking to 2020, we will review and fix problems. As you have seen, it was good games against strong teams where we could match them early on, but could not beat them. We still find we need to improve a lot.”

Keigo Okawa (JPN) — Captain

“We haven’t been able to play against the European strong teams and we have not beaten them. Therefore, I think it’s a good chance to learn what our weak points are and what we have to improve.” On the highlight of the tournament: “Personally I had my nose broken. For our team, especially against Germany, we could have beaten them, but they scored and we tied the match. Therefore, our biggest problem is that we haven’t achieved our goal to win the game in the close game. On the other hand, if we had won with a big margin, we could have controlled the game in a much smoother and better way.”

Paul Martin (RSA) — Head Coach

“In this team we have only four players who have played a senior FINA event. At the last two World Championships there are three players only. We lacked a little cohesion and trust because of no game time (before Gwangju). There are positives and it’s looking forward.  If I can keep 11-13 guys together for the next two years I will be very happy. I can’t fault their fitness or individual conditioning.”

Etienne Le Roux (RSA) — Captain

“It’s amazing to come and play against the professional sides. We don’t get to play international games so much, so it takes a while to get used to it, but it just shows us where the level of the world actually is and where we need to work towards in the future.” On the tournament highlight: “Just being part of it. It’s just tough to be able to draw the game with New Zealand and come 12th at the championship. That’s the best we’ve ever done — the same as 2015 in Kazan, so it’s amazing to come out to this competitive game and to get the draw in the group match.”

Match 40, 11:00, MONTENEGRO 14 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 15
Results & Teams

Match 40, 11:00, MONTENEGRO 14 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 15

Classification 9-10

Quarters: 2-4, 6-4, 4-4, 2-3

Referees: Frank Ohme (GER), Daniel Flahive (AUS).

Extra man: MNE: 5/10. USA: 3/7.

Penalties: MNE: 1/1. USA: 1/1

Shot conversion: MNE: 14/33. USA: 15/34.

MONTENEGRO: Dejan Lazovic, Drasko Brguljan, Duro Radovic (2), Marko Petkovic, Uros Cuckovic (1), Aleksa Ukropina, Mladan Janovic (1), Bogdan Durdic (1), Aleksandar Ivovic (6), Vladan Spaic (2), Dragan Draskovic, Nikola Murisic (1), Slaven Kandic. Head Coach: Vladimir Gojkovic.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Alexander Wolf, Johnathan Hooper (4), Marko Vavic, Alexander Obert, Benjamin Hallock (3), Luca Cupido, Hannes Daube, (3) Matthew Farmer, Alexander Bowen (2), Chancellor Ramirez (1), Jesse Smith, Maxwell Irving (2), Drew Holland. Head Coach: Dejan Udovicic.

Report

USA came through with a remarkable win that the announcer said was the best of the tournament; and it was a real thriller with many lead changes, fantastic goals. USA started smartly with the first two goals and led 4-2 at the first break. USA stretched it to 6-3 and 8-6 before Montenegro fired in twice, including Uros Cuckovic’s buzzer beater for 8-8. Duro Radovic gave Montenegro its first lead on the first attack of the third period. Ben Hallock, such a fine centre forward, if not the best in Gwangju, shunted in his third of the match and 13th of the competition. Alex Bowen nailed his second and 11th overall to bring USA to 10-9 ahead. Aleksandar Ivovic, one of the real stars here, hammered in his fifth for 11-10 in front. His earlier goal for 8-7 down was when he countered down the middle, rolled on his back and tipped the downtown pass over the advancing goalkeeper’s head. Goals were traded with Hannes Daube bringing up the 12-12 score from the right-hand catch position. It was the fifth tied position. More traded goals in the fourth period brought the sixth equaliser thanks to Chancellor Ramirez. Max Irving took USA into the lead for the third time at 3:57. Ivovic shot from well outside for the 14-14 score — his 21st goal — at 1:44, 11 seconds after a timeout. USA took a timeout at 0:54 and 18 seconds later Hannes Daube became the toast of the nation when he rifled in a winning shot from deep right, which deflected off the goalkeeper’s left hand into goal. Montenegro fired in close, but USA took and controlled the ball under extreme pressure until the final buzzer. This was a far cry from fifth in Budapest two years ago. Montenegro is still ruing the loss to Australia in the second round that exiled it to the lower ranks. In Kazan 2015 it was fifth, the silver medallist in Barcelona 2013 and seventh and ninth before that. Ivovic was the best for Montenegro with 21 goals. USA finished a disappointing 13th in Budapest, the first time out of single figures since Montreal 2005 when it was 11th.  Johnny Hooper netted four to push his tally to 14, one ahead of Hallock and Daube with Bowen just reaching double figures.

Quotes

Dejan Udovicic (USA) — Head Coach

“Both teams found this difficult to prepare for and have motivation. I’m glad we succeeded to win. The win is for our young players; it means more than just a win. It shows in the future how we can play and we go to this phase and win. We showed psychologically that we can win. We and Australia — plus Japan — showed the Europeans that we are getting closer. 2020 will be an interesting year.”

Johnny Hooper (USA) — Four goals 

“It was a really competitive game. Honestly that game came down to this one goal; defence on both sides locked a little. I feel like both teams can play better defences, especially our defence. We wanted to limit counter-attack and easy transition goals, but we didn’t do that very well. But I was happy that we were able to convert goals on the other hand offensively, so I’m really proud of my team-mates. I think today was a really good step forward to our success in the future. We have a lot of potential, a lot of young guys, a lot of young talents, and I think the pieces are falling together, and as soon as we really start training hundred per cent together. I think it was a really good win against Montenegro, and put us in the right position and right mindset moving forward to the Pan American Games. Hopefully we will qualify and get a lot of momentum moving towards the Olympics.” 

Hannes Daube (USA) — Three goals

On his winning goal: “I had ended on the right side to start to play. We had a post to build the right pose. They dropped back from the wing, passed it down to Marko, on the wing, dropped back, and my guy helped back for a little zone on the right side and he swung it back up to me. I saw the sharp blocker sharp blocking more middle cage, not so much the right side. I shot around his arm and then the ball went on the post. Confidence definitely starts with my team-mates and my coach believing in me and the preparation coming up to this tournament — everyone believes in me.” 

Vladimir Gojkovic (MNE) — Head Coach

“We didn’t want to play for ninth. We repeated some things we did in the last few games. When we control the game we just can’t win. I understand to play this game was hard because as I said before we were here for the best four. This was hard.”

Match 41, 14:00, SERBIA 17 GERMANY 16 penalty shootout (FT: 12-12. Pens 5-4)
Results & Teams

Match 41, 14:00, SERBIA 17 GERMANY 16 in penalty shootout (FT: 12-12. Pens: 5-4)

Classification 5-8 Semifinal

Quarters: 3-3, 3-3, 2-3, 4-3

Referees: Dion Willis (RSA), Sebastien Dervieux (FRA).

Extra man: SRB: 3/13. GER: 7/12.

Penalties: GER: 1/2.

Shot conversion: SRB: 12/42. GER: 12/36.

Teams:

SERBIA: Strajo Risticevic, Dusan Mandic (5+1), Viktor Rasovic, Sava Randjelovic, Milos Cuk, Djordje Lazic (2), Nemanja Vico (1), Nikola Dedovic (1+1), Nikola Jaksic, Radomir Drasovic (1+1), Ognjen Stojanovic (1+1), Strahinja Rasovic (1+1), Lazar Dobozanov. Coach: Dejan Savic.

GERMANY: Moritz Schenkel,Ben Riebel (1+1), Timo van der Bosch (2), Julian Real (1), Tobias Preuss, Maurice Jungling (2), Denis Strelezkij (1+1), Lukas Gielen (1), Marko Stamm (+1), Mateo Cuk (1), Marin Restovic (1), Dennis Eidner (2+1), Kevin Gotz. Head Coach: Hagen Stamm.

Report

For sheer excitement, this was one of the better crowd-pleasing matches of the tournament. Serbia is a team battling the odds; playing in uncharted territory and looking for experience come the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. This sort of match helps cement ideas for team selection come the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Talking about odds, Germany was the odds-on favourite for this match, especially in the latter stages when Serbia was forced into repeated mistakes. It was 2010 when Germany last beat Serbia — 10 matches. It was even in the first two quarters and Germany went 9-7 before the Mandic factor kicked in. Dusan Mandic — with just eight goals in Gwangju —is probably unaccustomed to working with this group, but came alive with Serbia’s eighth goal to trail by one at halftime. Germany went two up another three times in a big goal trade-off to 12-10. Mandic had scored the ninth goal in the rotation. He delivered the 11th goal — his fifth — and Dorde Lazic scored his second goal after three quick passes found him alone one metre from an empty cage for the equaliser. It went to shootout where Serbia converted all five and Germany’s reliable shooter Lukas Gielen — the first shooter — had his attempt blocked by Strajo Risticevic. Germany’s extra-man-attack statistic alone should have got it across the line in normal time.

Quotes

Dejan Savic (SRB) — Head Coach

“We are still playing very badly, making bad decisions on defence. So, we still won, but no one is satisfied with this. This tournament was to grow up (for his team) — champions growing up in a losing team. There was lots of bad stuff and the mentality has to be different. The last quarter two or three who understood came through — the motor, the engine of the team. Four or five lost their minds and I have to tell them they will still be in Belgrade next year (when it comes to his selection for the Olympics).”

Dusan Mandic (SRB) — Six goals

“It was a very difficult match. We’re not used to playing matches for the fifth place. For mental side, it was very, very difficult, very painful, very exhausting, but we won the game. I’m happy that we won the game.”

Dennis Eidner (GER) — Three goals

“We were not careful enough and made a few mistakes. We didn’t realise how strong and dangerous Mandic was. Although we did our best, we’re not satisfied with the result.”  

 

 

 

 

Match 42, 15:30, AUSTRALIA 9 GREECE 8
Results & Teams

Match 42, 15:30, AUSTRALIA 9 GREECE 8

Classification 5-8 Semifinal

Quarters: 3-2, 2-3, 3-3, 1-0

Referees: Michael Goldenberg (USA), Nenad Peris (CRO).

Extra man: AUS: 4/7. GRE: 3/9.

Penalties: Nil.

Shot conversion: AUS: 9/29. GRE: 8/23.

Teams:

AUSTRALIA: Joel Dennerley, Richard Campbell (2), George Ford, Joseph Kayes (3), Nathan Power, Lachlan Edwards, Aidan Roach, Aaron Younger (2), Andrew Ford (1), Timothy Putt, Rhys Howden, Blake Edwards (1), Anthony Hrysanthos. Coach: Elvis Fatovic.

GREECE: Emmanouil Zervedas, Konstaninos Genidounias, Dimitrios Skoumpakis, Alexandros Papanastasiou,Ioannis Fountoulis (1), Marios Kapotsis (2), Georgios Dervisis, Stylianos Argyropoulos (1), Konstantinos Mourikis (1), Christodoulos Kolomvos (2), Alexandros Gounas (1), Angelos Vlachopoulos, Konstantinos Galanidis. Head Coach: Theodoros Vlachos.

Report

Australia and Greece slogged out a great semifinal where the Aussie Sharks went two up in the second period and Greece did the same in the third. It was tied at the half and the three-quarter and the Sharks arrowed the final goal at 4:29 in the fourth through Richard Campbell. It was a hard-swimming match, making the players very tired after a tough campaign. The match was level at 5-5, 7-7 and 8-8. The shut out of Greece in the final quarter was crucial and testimony to the Aussie Sharks defence.

Quotes

Richard Campbell (AUS) — Two goals

“We deserved to win. It was a very up-and-down match and tough at the start. We went goal for goal and then even on defence and attack. They would keep coming back (after Australia took the lead). They have a similar style to us with no leftie and play a bit slower. They are a quick team and a bit brutal. It’s a bit of a justification match (after the non-penalty call in the quarterfinal with Hungary on Tuesday). We proved we can match it with all the top teams. We proved we were good enough for top four, so now we must show everyone that we can finish in fifth spot.”

Theodoros Vlachos (GRE) — Head Coach

“We played against a good team; now we have to play for seven-eight. You believe you can play for the highest position, but instead we are in the five-eight round. For us, the last three-four minutes we missed a man-ups — not good action and not correct choice — with the possibility of the equaliser. We will fight for seven or eight position.”

Alexandros Papanastasiou (GRE)

“It was a very close game, like you said, tough game, but a good opponent. Australia showed throughout the whole tournament they are a very good team and they made life difficult for every team like Hungary did at the last second. OK, what can I say? We made mistakes. I think we led a good defence throughout the game, but we had some attacking problems. It was close, but in the end they were better and we lost. We have one more game with Germany, so we have to concentrate on that to at least close the tournament with a positive result.”

Match 43, 17:00, SPAIN 6 CROATIA 5
Results & Teams

Match 43, 17:00, SPAIN 6 CROATIA 5

Classification 1-4 Semifinal

Quarters: 2-1, 2-1, 2-0, 0-3

Referees: Georgios Stavridis (GRE), Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU).

Extra man: ESP: 4/8. CRP: 3/13.

Penalties: ESP: 1/1. CRO: 1/1.

Shot conversion: ESP: 6/20. CRO: 5/28.

Teams:

SPAIN: Daniel Lopez, Alberto Munarriz (1), Alvaro Granados (1), Miguel De Toro, Sergi Cabanas, Marc Larumbe, Alberto Barroso, Francisco Fernandez, Roger Tahull (1), Felipe Perrone (1), Blai Mallarach (2), Alejandro Bustos, Eduardo Lorrio. Coach: David Martin.

CROATIA: Marko Bijac, Marco Macan, Loren Fatovic (1), Luka Loncar, Maro Jokovic (3), Hrvoje Benic, Ante Vukicevic, Andro Buslje, Lovre Milos, Josip Vrlic, Andelo Setka, Javier Garcia (1), Ivan Marcelic. Coach: Ivica Tucak.

 

Report

In a rarity one country has placed its men’s and women’s teams in world championship finals in the same year. The men came good today with a thunderous effort that smacked the world champion Croatians fully in the face. The crown was gone, as was the chance to gain the first Olympic Games qualification berth available in Gwangju. Both finalists gain a spot after Serbia, playing Australia for fifth position on Saturday, already qualified as the winner of the 2019 FINA World League. The elation on the team’s face and the coaching staff, not to mention the supporters, was evident in the mixed zone. There were smiles all around, except when the Croatians walked through. Spain was dominant early, shooting to 2-0 through Felipe Perrone and Blai Mallarach before Maro Jokovic drilled one from the top. Roger Tahull, off the post position, and Alberto Munarriz on extra-man attack took the score to 4-1. Former Spanish Olympian Javier Garcia pulled one back for Croatia inside the final minute of the half. As in the previous two periods, Spain scored twice early through Mallarach and Alvaro Granados for 6-2. They were the only goals of the period, meaning Croatia was without a goal for well over nine minutes of actual play. It was Jokovic who robbed the bank with a penalty goal for his second strike of the match. He scored on extra-man attack at 1:31 and Loren Fatovic repeated the dose at 0:14, giving a sniff of a penalty shootout. It was not to be as Spain was too smart and retained the ball to take the spoils. Sadly for Croatia, it was also one goal away from gaining Olympic representation when it lost to Serbia in the World League Super Final In Belgrade.

Photo: Istvan Derencsenyi

 

Quotes

David Martin (ESP) — Head Coach

“It’s amazing, very good, very good. After 10 years, Spain is back. We fight with the best teams and now the top team Croatia, and we win. The Spanish defence is like a team, every player working together. This is very important. Right from the all the Spanish clubs, players, coaches — they mould the team. This is very important. We are in the final, which is very good. Now we have to place at the Olympics. We will play for a medal. We will totally concentrate for Tokyo.”

Felipe Perrone (ESP) — Captain and goal scorer

On making it to the Olympics “I think going to the Olympics is the main goal of the minority sports like water polo. We’ve reached this goal, and this is more important than the final of the championship. But as we are in the final, we’re going to try to win, do everything we can, just rest and now think about the game the day after tomorrow. I’ve participated in three Olympics so far, and the Tokyo Olympics will be my fourth.” On both Spain men and women going to the Olympics: “I think this is a good job for all Spanish water polo. It’s not just the national team, but clubs and everybody who are working to improve water polo, and I think the results are coming, and we can be proud of that.”

 Andro Buslje (CRO) — Captain 

“Today we were not very good, and the match should’ve been better. We want to play the final and go to the Olympics, but now we can’t go, and we must go to the qualification tournament. We must play our last game for the bronze medal, and I hope that we will be much better than today.”

Match 44, 18:30, HUNGARY 10 ITALY 12
Results & Teams

Match 44, 18:30, HUNGARY 10 ITALY 12

Classification 1-4 Semifinal

Quarters: 4-2, 1-5, 2-2, 3-3

Referees: Michiel Zwart (NED), Boris Margeta (SLO).

Extra man: HUN: 7/13. ITA: 5/12.

Penalties: ITA: 1/1.

Shot conversion: HUN: 10/32. ITA: 12/27.

Teams:

HUNGARY: Viktor Nagy, Daniel Angyal (2), Krisztian Manhercz (1), Gergo Zalanki (2), Marton Vamos (2), Tamas Mezei, Tamas Sedlmayer (1), Szilard Jansik, Zoltan Pohl (1), Denes Varga, Bence Batori, Balazs Harai (1), Soma Vogel. Coach: Tamas Marcz.

ITALY: Marco Del Lungo, Francesco Di Fulvio (3), Stefano Luongo (1), Pietro Figlioli (1), Edoardo Di Somma, Alessandro Velotto, Vincenzo Renzuto, Gonzalo Echinique (4), Niccolo Figari (2), Alexandre Bodegas (1), Matteo Aicardi, Vincenzo Dolce, Gianmarco Nicosia. Head Coach: Alessandro Campagna.

Report

Italy came back from 4-2 down and a four-goal burst in the second quarter proved to be enough for victory and Olympic qualification. And yes, Hungarian captain Denes Varga could not keep himself out of the water despite a broken finger and played from the start and for less than 12 minutes. Goalkeeper Viktor Nagy was injured in the second quarter and was replaced by No 2 goalie Soma Vogel who made four saves from nine shots. Balazs Harai was also injured and took to the water for just nine minutes. Hungary scored two sets of consecutive goals for a comfortable 4-2 start, but the second quarter was a decidedly different occasion. It was here that Gonzalo Echinique, with comparatively not a lot of game time in Gwangju and no goal to his name, erupted like a volcano with three goals in less than three minutes. All three came from deep right. It was Francesco Di Fulvio who impressed early with Italy’s only goals of the opening period and then one of the best goals of the championship when he drove down the left, turned his opponent, toyed with the goalkeeper while two defenders were grabbing him and smashed from the shortest of ranges for the go-ahead 5-4 in the second period. Gergo Zalanki stopped the rot and then Alexandre Bodegas, stripped of his cap, had to await the VAR decision to see whether his goal was legitimate. That was 4:18, Italy led 7-5 and both teams built walls in front of their goals. Harai, at centre forward, and Daniel Angyal, on extra, levelled by 1:28. However, Niccolo Figari on extra and captain Pietro Figlioli from the penalty line had the three-quarter lead at 9-7. Marton Vamos, the man who sent Hungary to the semifinal with a goal in the last four seconds against Australia, blasted a shot from well outside on the first attack of the fourth period. Hungary gained nothing after its timeout, other than have three consecutive shots and then Italy called its first at 4:19 on extra-man attack and Figari delivered off the right-post position for 10-8 at 4:00. The hot Zalanki gained his second when he shot from the top right and sent the ball skipping over Marco Del Lungo’s right shoulder. Echinique scored his fourth from exactly the same spot as the other three for 9-11. The VAR was needed to verify Angyal’s rebound from deep left that drew within one at 2:24. Soon after Luongo scored and the result of the match was sealed. Italy was off to the Olympics, heading for a gold-medal match and Hungary had slipped from its silver position of two years ago.

Quotes

Alessandro Campagna (ITA) — Head Coach

“Very exciting. I must say it was played well, refereed well and congratulations to Hungary on a great game. My team did a great job. (The Olympic qualification is) very important to prepare the calendar next year so there are not too many games for the players, so they can rest. Spain is a fantastic team and the favourite as they beat us in last year’s European Championships.”

Pietro Figlioli (ITA) — Captain and penalty scorer

“It’s great that we have qualified for the Olympics but the final for the world championship is not done and over. Coming home with a gold medal has a whole different weight. It has a whole difference when the team has won it, not individuals. We battled, suffered and mentally trained the whole year and built for this. You can’t compare the round games. We are feeling more confident and happier with our systems. Spain is another team, they help each other out.”

Gonzalo Echenique (ITA) — Four goals

“I haven’t drunk anything special for this semifinal. I was just as usual — the same every day. I’m very happy for winning at this match. I’m really happy that I scored four goals today. I hope for the best result for the final.”

Tamas Marcz (HUN) — Head Coach

“We played our game and started really nice in the beginning but in the second quarter Italy gained a 4-0 break from our mistakes and we couldn’t reply. Denes (Varga) played not 100 per cent fit. Viktor Nagy went with injury in the second quarter and the second goalkeeper (Soma Vogel) went in and played very well. Balazs Harai was also not in for long. I think the game was very close. We tried really hard to reach Italy, but they scored in delicate moments. It was not easy without Harai. That was the key, but congratulations to Italy as they played well. Well done to my team, as they believed they could reach this goal. Despite this performance, the team that makes the less mistakes wins this type of match.”

Gwangju, South Korea.— Spain will play Italy in Saturday's gold-medal final of the FINA World Championship men's water polo tournament at the Nambu University Grounds in Gwangju.

In reaching the final and finishing ahead of FINA World League champion Serbia — pre-qualified because of the title — both teams earned Olympic berths for Tokyo 2020.

Link
25Jul2019

Milak destroys Phelps’ 10yr-old WR, double for Italy, two medals for Peaty

Hungary's Kristof Milak just made the unthinkable: he smashed Michael Phelps' 200m fly World Record set in the shiny suit era, at the 2009 World Championships in Rome. He shove off not only hunredths but almost a full second (0.78 – 1:50.78), a real stunner from a 19 year-old. Italy had a great day as Gregorio Paltrinieri and Federica Pellegrini delivered two golds in a span of 10 minutes in the 800m free and 200m free respectively.

World Championships 2019
Gwangju (KOR)
Link
25Jul2019

High Diving, Day 3: Perfect “triple quad” gives gold to Hunt

When Gary Hunt arrived today at the high diving venue in Gwangju (KOR), he probably had one question in his mind. “How will I succeed in my ‘triple quad’”? The “triple quad” refers to Hunt’s favourite combination, a back 3 somersaults, with 4 twists in the free position – in the diving numbering, it’s simply a 5268D. This is a magic combination for the British star: with it, he won competitions; with it, he also lost. The most notable case was the 2017 edition of the World Championships in Budapest, two years ago.

World Championships 2019
Link
24Jul2019

Day 6 Women's Water Polo: USA -Spain gold-medal final

World Championships 2019
Gwangju, South Korea
Match 39, 09.30, CHINA 14 NEW ZEALAND 12
Results & Teams

Match 39, 09.30, CHINA 14 NEW ZEALAND 12

Classification 11-12

Quarters: 4-2, 3-2, 4-2, 3-6

Referees: Natacha Florestano (BRA), Jeremy Cheng (SGP).

Extra man: CHN: 3/7. NZL: 3/7

Penalties: CHN: 2/2. NZL: 2/2.

Shot conversion: CHN: 14/31. NZL: 12/28.

Teams:

CHINA: Lin Peng, Xinyan Wang (2), Xiaohan Mei (1), Dunhan Xiong (2), Guannan Niu (1), Ning Guo, Huan Wang (2), Cong Zhang (1), Zihan Zhao, Danyi Zhang (2), Xiao Chen, Jing Zhang (3), Wenxin Dong. Head Coach: Dali Gong.

NEW ZEALAND: Jessica Milicich, Emily Nicholson, Bernadette Doyle (3), Shinae Carrington, Elizabeth Alsemgeest, Morgan McDowall (4), Emmerson Houghton (4), Katie McKenty, Grace Tobin, Kaitlin Howarth, Amanda Lemon (1), Kate Enoka, Bridget Layburn. Head Coach: Angie Winstanley-Smith.

Report

China held out a fast-charging New Zealand for 11th position. Ahead 11-6 at the final break, China allowed two goals through in quick succession from Bernadette Doyle and it was 12-8. Danyi Zhang and Morgan McDowall traded a pair of goals each for 14-10. Emmerson Houghton scored from the top and the penalty line inside the final minute to narrow the margin to two. At the FINA Intercontinental Cup in Perth, Australia in March, China crunched the Kiwis 24-7, so the gap has taken a quantum leap. China has had a chequered career at this level, finishing second in 2011 when its hosted the championships in Shanghai. Two years ago it was 10, missed 2015 and was ninth in 2013. Jing Zhang lifted her tournament tally to 11 with two goals. It was the seventh time New Zealand has finished 12th and sixth in the past seven editions. Its best was way back in 1991 in Perth, Australia. Seventeen-year-old McDowall was the best shooter for the Kiwis with 17 goals, one ahead of Doyle, who nailed three today and McDowall four.

Quotes

Dunhan Xiong (CHN) — Two goals 

On finishing 11th: “Maybe it’s because we changed a lot of players and have many new players. This is the first time they played in the championships. Some were very nervous. I think we have some capacity problems, so couldn’t get into the top six. We need to work very hard to enter the top six in the future.” 

Angie Winstanley-Smith (NZL) — the only female head coach in Gwangju

“We have made big progress on our collective defence, but today the man-up (attack) was difficult. The lessons we learnt in the group were huge — not bad for a 100 per cent self-funded team. We will go back home and see how we can grow. We now have stability with our programme, which will assist us in the future.”

Jessica Milicich (NZL) — Captain 

“I’m good. I’m really proud how hard the girls fought today. I think it’s a massive improvement from the match we played in Perth (24-7).” On breaking into the top 10: “Absolutely! I think that was the goal coming here. I think we really had a hard loss against Kazakhstan the other day (penalty shootout). I think we’re closing that gap. I think we really strived hard to improve and we’re just unlucky with this tournament with not being able to break that, but absolutely in the future. We have a young team and we are going to work hard for next time.”

Match 40, 11:00, CANADA 24 KAZAKHSTAN 7
Results & Teams

Match 40, 11:00, CANADA 24 KAZAKHSTAN 7

Classification 9-10

Quarters: 7-3, 5-1, 4-1, 8-2

Referees: Sebastien Dervieux (FRA), Dion Willis (RSA).

Extra man: CAN: 5/7. KAZ: 1/7.

Penalties: KAZ: 2/2.

Shot conversion: CAN: 24/42. KAZ: 7/33.

Teams:

CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (3), Axelle Crevier (1), Emma Wright (5), Monika Eggens (2), Kelly McKee (4), Joelle Bekhazi (5), Elyse Lemay-Lavoie, Hayley McKelvey, Kyra Christmas (3), Kindred Paul, Shae Fournier (1), Claire Wright. Head Coach: David Paradelo.

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zhazkimbaeva, Tomiris Kenenbayeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Anna Turova, Kamila Zakirova, Darya Roga (2), Anna Novikova, Darya Muzareva (1), Anastassiya Yeremina (1), Zamira Myrzabekova (1), Anastassiya Mirshina (2), Viktoriya Khritankova, Azhar Alibayeva. Head Coach: Marat Naurazbekov.

Report

Canada would be disappointed with the final outcome after close matches with Hungary (14-15) and Netherlands (4-5). Ninth position is a big drop from missing out on bronze to Russia in 2017. In a first quarter swollen with goals — 10 — Kazakhstan was competitive, however, Canada lifted the pace and power and swam away with the match. Team veteran Joelle Bekhazi had a field day with five goals from nine attempts and finished with eight for the tournament. Canada was 11th in 2015 after two eighth places in the previous two championships. Canada’s medal cabinet has two silvers and two bronzes at this level. Emma Wright and Kyra Christmas were vying for top-scoring honours. Christmas had 11 before the match and Wright 10. Wright’s five goals took her top of the list and Christmas was second on 14. Kazakhstan was 15th in Budapest and in the 11-13 bracket the previous three before that. Its best performance and only time in single digits was eighth at Fukuoka 2001. Zamira Myrzabekova came into the final match with 10 and scored the opening goal, before being stymied for the rest of the encounter. Anastassiya Mirshina went in with eight goals and netted two more to be second best.

Quotes

David Paradelo (CAN) — Head Coach

“This was the best lead-up for the Pan Ams (early August). We have to go there and finish top or just behind USA, which has already qualified. It is the final objective of the year, to qualify. We had a chance here in the crossovers to go through and on to the gold medal. However, it has always been in the back of our minds.  We didn’t start (the tournament) well. There were a couple of things to solve, aspects of the team in and out of the water. Not being together much in the past two and a half years did not help. The athletes are troupers who are devoted. Qualification is the big objective this year and 12 months from now is the other objective. The team came together as a whole. It’s a whole process as we have not been together for a while.”

Jessica Gaudreault (CAN) — Captain

“I’m really happy that we put on a good display and made a big splash, so that was positive.” On attempting to break into the top eight: “Oh, I don’t even think that’s a question. We had a really close game with our crossovers. Unfortunately, we just came up for losing it, but I really think we played like winners in that game. I think the big spread in this really showed we should be in the top eight.”

Marat Naurazbekov (KAZ) — Head Coach

“We generally did very well this year against some very strong teams. We enjoyed the games and we did everything we should do. We are going to have a qualification tournament in March with only one berth available for Tokyo. The best moment for us was the close matches with Greece and Spain, who are strong teams. I am happy with 10th, which is our best result since 2001 when we were eighth.”

Tomiris Kenenbayeva (KAZ)

“Today was the last day, so it was difficult because we had to play differently. We should’ve enjoyed our game, but we didn’t. We defended badly and attacked badly as well. I don’t know why, maybe because it was the last day, and we were just tired. We hope to break into the top six for the next championships. I think we have improved our skills for the last two years.”

Match 41, 14:00, GREECE 4 RUSSIA 13
Results & Teams

Match 41, 14:00, GREECE 4 RUSSIA13

Classification 5-8 Semifinal

Quarters: 0-2, 1-2, 2-4, 1-5

Referees: Stanko Ivanovski (MNE), Jaume Teixido (ESP).

Extra man: GRE: 3/6. RUS: 3/6.

Penalties: Nil.

Shot conversion: GRE: 4/30. RUS: 13/36.

Teams:

GREECE: Ioanna Stamatopoulou, Christina Tsoukala, Alkistis Benekou, Nikoleta Eleftheridou, Maria Patra, Alkisti Avramidou (1), Alexandra Asimaki (1), Ioanna Chydirioti, Christina Kotsia, Eirini Ninou, Eleftheria Plevritou (2), Eleni Xenaki, Marina Kotsioni. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

RUSSIA: Evgeniia Golovina, Maria Bersneva (3), Ekaterina Prokofyeva (1), Elvina Karimova (3), Tatiana Tolkunova, Olga Gorbunova (1), Alena Serzhantova, Anastasiia Simanovich, Anna Timofeeva, Evgeniia Soboleva (2), Evgeniia Ivanova (1), Daria Ryzhkova (2), Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Alexander Gaidukov.

Report

Russia bounced back from its 9-7 loss to Australia in the quarterfinals and showed just what it is capable of. A big-finishing team normally, the wound-up Russians just kept swimming, intercepting and racing on counter-attack from which four goals were scored. The teams were even on extra-man attack and Russia managed two goals from centre forward. The statistics speak for themselves. What it really meant is that Greece was tired after a hard week in which it lost by 10 goals to Spain and United States of America. Russia was on the move at every opportunity and the best goal came from Olga Gorbunova on a cross-cage drive, flipping over, taking the ball and netting at 3-0. The 3-0 start forged the tenor of the match and it was never in doubt. Russia now goes to the play-off for fifth and honour, a year out from Tokyo 2020. Anna Karnaukh was kept busy in the Russian goal with a commendable 12 saves before she handed over to team-mate Evgeniia Golovina to finish off the match.

Quotes

Eleftheria Plevritou (GRE) — Two goals

“Our team is a lot better, but we couldn’t make something that we should’ve done in the game. I agree that we look tired. It’s not like we’re only physically tired, but also we are psychologically because some games didn’t go as we hoped for, so at the rest of the game we were without emotions. We didn’t want to be like that, but it just happened that way. We didn’t play well, but we came to play a lot better, so this is the sad part. I’m full of emotions now. It’s better for me to cry because I feel like showing our emotions. We wanted to qualify for the Olympics, but we’re playing now for the seventh or eighth place.”

Match 42, 15:30, NETHERLANDS 5 ITALY 10
Results & Teams

Match 42, 15:30, NETHERLANDS 5 ITALY10

Classification 5-8 Semifinal

Quarters: 1-3, 2-3, 1-2, 1-2

Referees: Frank Ohme (GER), Marie-Claude Deslieres (CAN).

Extra man: NED: 3/11. ITA: 1/7.

Penalties: NED: 1/1. ITA: 2/3.

Shot conversion: NED: 5/30. ITA: 10/31.

Teams:

NETHERLANDS: Joanne Koenders, Maud Megens (3), Dagmar Genee, Catharina Van der Sloot (1), Iris Wolves, Nomi Stomphorst, Bente Rogge, Vivian Sevenich, Maartje Keuning (1), Ilse Koolhaas, Simone Van der Kraats, Brigitte Sleeking, Rozanne Voorvelt, Sarah Buis. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani (1), Arianna Garibotti (1), Silvia Avegno (4), Elisa Queirolo (1), Rosaria Aiello, Domitilla Picozzi, Roberta Bianconi (1), Giulia Emmolo (1), Valeria Palmieri, Isabella Chiappini (1), Giulia Viacava, Frederica Lavi. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.

Report

Italy made sure that being a group winner who succumbed to Hungary in the quarterfinals, that it wanted to show that it could leave Korea with just the one loss from six matches. This it did by demoralising the Dutch into errors all over the pool. Italy started strongly, leaving the Dutch to work their way back into the match, but when Maud Megens converted a penalty for 4-3 down, that was the last time the Dutch would come close to Italy. It was her third penalty strike of the tournament. The Italian wall was erected, as Netherlands could not break through while the Italians went on a campaign of success thanks to a hat-trick of goals to Silvia Avegno, doubling her tally for the championship. It was in the third period at this time. Megens pulled one back on extra and then Italian captain Elisa Queirolo drove and lobbed the ball to close the third period 8-5. Izabella Chiappini made sure of the victory with a lob that went to the VAR, even those it was clearly over the line. Maartje Keuning scored the fifth for Netherlands when it was too late to come back and Avegno slotted a penalty goal for her fourth of the match and seventh of the tournament.

Quotes

Fabio Conti (ITA) — Head Coach

“This is a final without a medal. It was good just for training, to get the brain working for next year; see what we can do in the water. After two days off we want to come back with more intensity.”

Roberta Bianconi (ITA) — Goal scorer 

“It was difficult to find an inspiration because after the previous game we lost a chance to go to the quarterfinals. We were really sad and tried to talk to each other to understand what the problem was because we were losing. Of course, we wanted to stay in the first position not the second one. We tried to start from the beginning like OK, let’s start again to make a new job and a new team work because maybe this is the key we need to find for our team work. So today we went to fight with these ideas in our minds. We will try to play even if we will be the fifth place, so it’s just something for our encouragement. Even if you lose, you always try to do your best and you will find a way to be encouraged.”

Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach

“I feel bad that we were playing for fifth place. We wanted to win the last two games. The only thing now is to bring enough energy and passion in the group for seventh and we can leave South Korea with a victory.”

Maud Megens (NED) — Three goals

“Today I think we really wanted to prove ourselves that we could do better than yesterday. I think we started off with that and we came out strong, but mistakes cost us the game today.”

Match 43, 17:00, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 7 AUSTRALIA 2
Results & Teams

Match 43, 17:00, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 7 AUSTRALIA 2

Classification 1-4 Semifinal

Quarters: 3-0, 2-0, 1-1, 1-1

Referees: Nenad Peris (CRO), Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU).

Extra man: USA: 3/10. AUS: 1/11.

Penalties: USA: Nil.

Shot conversion: USA: 7/24. AUS: 2/26

Teams:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Amanda Longan, Maddeline Musselman, Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal (1), Paige Hauschild, Margaret Steffens, Stephania Haralabidis (2), Kiley Neushul, Aria Fischer, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer (2), Alys Williams (2), Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.

AUSTRALIA: Gabriella Palm, Keesja Gofers, Hannah Buckling, Bronte Halligan (1), Isobel Bishop, Bronwen Knox, Rowie Webster (1), Amy Ridge, Zoe Arancini, Lena Mihailovic, Elle Armit, Madeleine Steere, Lea Yanitsis. Head Coach: Predrag Mihailovic.

 

Report

This was more like the duels of old where either team would win by a single goal. That was the physical side of things, but the scoring side was a different matter. Back in Christchurch, New Zealand — a week before the city was devastated by a severe earthquake in 2010 — USA rattled off a 6-0 lead in the World Cup final and then finished 6-3 ahead. Tonight, it was 6-0 three minutes into the third period and the Aussie Stingers threw up the shutters up and played a defensive game that only broke open in the final minute on an extra-man attack. Australia struggled to put any real shots on target in the first half as Ashleigh Johnson loomed large with her wingspan set to flash out like an eagle’s at any errant shot. There was more attacking desire from Australia in the second half and captain Rowie Webster blasted her 13th goal of the tournament at 4:16 in the third period — for Australia, nearly 20 minutes of action — or inaction. Ten minutes with no goals ensued before Bronte Halligan punctured Johnson’s armour for 6-2 at 2:04. USA used a timeout, gained an exclusion foul on Keesja Gofers and Alys Williams penalised Australia with the 7-2 decision. Credit to both teams — USA for the excellent start and Australia for denying the best team in the world any real traction in the second half. The second half was more like the battles of old between these traditional foes. However, Friday is another matter and they each have to go to the cauldron once more to see whether today’s work will be rewarded with medals. Australia’s six-on-five attack was poor at one from 11 opportunities and this will be something that needs addressing ahead of the bronze-medal match. The fact that Australia defended seven of USA’s chances shows how good both defences were.

 

Quotes

Adam Krikorian (USA) — Head Coach

“It was really good defensively for the whole game, I thought our defence in front of Ashleigh (goalkeeper Johnson) was phenomenal. When it broke down she saved us with her best game of the tournament so far. Our offence relaxed a little bit, so we need to be sharper from the offset (in the gold-medal final). We struggled a bit on six on five. (In the final) we have to play four quarters of good water polo, not just turn up.”

Stephanie Haralabidis (USA) — Two goals

“I knew it was going to be a hard game, and we discussed that they were going to come out very hard, and they did. It was a pretty hard match. Everything went right, but we did make mistakes in passing ways, some rejections and pulling bathing suits, but it went right. Every match we improve. We learn from our mistakes and we have to improve for the next match.”

Rebecca Rippon (AUS) — Assistant Coach

“We were happy with the way the girls played. There were a couple of goals let in that we shouldn’t have, but we were happy with our defence. In the second half we were a bit more aggressive on attack. We will now watch the next semifinal and find out who our opposition will be (in the bronze-medal match on Friday) and do an analysis on ourselves and them. We will look for areas to improve and fix them.”

Gabriella Palm (AUS) — Goalkeeper

“We just didn’t bring out our best game today, and they kind of have a way of wins, so it’s disappointing. We’re always competent going into every game whomever our opposition is. We just made a few silly mistakes in attacks, and they capitalised on them and scored. I feel defensively we did pretty well. It’s just we had a few slips in attack and it led to a few counter-attack goals, and they had scoring opportunities at the end, so a few slip ups, but we’ll look to reflect on those mistakes and take the lesson to our bronze-medal game on Friday." On having the best seat in the house: “It’s great. I’ve got a view of the whole pool and I get to see everything, so I love it!”

Match 44, 18:30, SPAIN 16 HUNGARY 10
Results & Teams

Match 44, 18:30, SPAIN 16 HUNGARY10

Classification 1-4 Semifinal

Quarters: 5-3, 5-5, 4-1, 2-1

Referees: Georgios Stavridis (GRE), Boris Margeta (SLO).

Extra man: ESP: 6/10. HUN: 3/12.

Penalties: ESP: 2/2. HUN: 2/2.

Shot conversion: ESP: 16/34. HUN: 10/27.

Teams:

SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (2), Beatriz Ortiz (2), Roser Tarrago (4), Irene Gonzalez, Clara Espar, Pilar Pena (1), Judith Forca (4), Paula Crespi, Maica Garcia (1), Paula Leiton (2), Elena Sanchez. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.

HUNGARY: Edina Gangl, Dorottya Szilagyi, Rebecca Parkes (1), Greta Gurisatti (2), Natasa Rybanska, Brigitta Horvath (1), Anna Illes, Rita Keszthelyi (1), Dora Leimeter (4), Aniko Gyongyossy (1), Dora Toth-Csabai, Vanda Valyi, Alda Magyari. Head Coach: Attila Biro.

Report

Spanish eyes are smiling after a thrilling 16-10 victory that not only secured a gold-medal berth against the all-powerful United States of America, but also the one Tokyo Olympic Games berth on offer in Gwangju. USA took the FINA World League qualification spot earlier this year. Spain led from the front and halted any progress Hungary tried to make when it came to sending balls into the cage. Hungary was not as clinical on attack and indeed, threw seven less shots. As Hungarian head coach Attila Biro said afterwards — Spain was better than his team in every position. Hungary levelled at 2-2 and never came within two goals for the rest of the encounter. When Hungary gained momentum, Spain but =it back and continued a run of victories over Hungary stretching back to 2012 at the European Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands. In fact, there have been five quarterfinal or above victories in this sequence. Spain just deserved the win. It deserved the Olympic berth. It deserved to face USA in what will be a titanic struggle for gold. More will be spoken about that particular match, but for the moment the travails of Rose Tarrago (ESP) with four goals, Judith Forca (ESP) with a three-goal burst in the third period and the accuracy of Dora Leimeter (HUN) with four goals. People will remember the speed of Spain, the strength of Hungary and the overpowering enthusiasm and desire for Olympic inclusion of the Spaniards.

Quotes

Miki Oca (ESP) — Head Coach

On gaining the Olympic berth: “Yes, we did it. We have to try and put it out of our mind for the next game, the final.” On if there was plenty of talk about the Olympic berth during the tournament: “We didn’t speak about it. We just went game after game.” On why Spain was dominant tonight: “We scored our shots and our centres were efficient. We were working well at centre. It was not easy to score a lot. Hungary is dangerous on attack.” About the final: “In front of us is USA and everyone knows it is a super team.”

Roser Tarrago (ESP) — Four goals

On the title in Barcelona in 2013: “Yes, I was on that team. We have six world champions in my team. Yes, six of us. I’m so excited to go to the Tokyo Olympics!”

Attila Biro (HUN) — Head Coach

 “We were really stupid is some moments and we did not deserve to win. Spain is more experienced and a better team. Today, in every position in the team, they were better.”

Rebecca Parkes (HUN) — Goal scorer

“It’s not a great feeling right now, but we still have more chances and we will have to get them when we have those chances.” On shifting from New Zealand to Hungary for the Olympics: “Not just for the Olympics, but for water polo, general clubs, and the national team. Hungary has got one of the best water polo in the world for women, so that’s why.” On being a centre forward: “It’s tough to be a centre forward. It was the new rules that made it different. I think it’s not as physical, but sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, but yes, very physical.” 

Gwangju, South Korea.— United States of America will defend its crown against 2013 champion Spain in Friday's FINA World Championship women's water polo gold-medal match at the Nambu University Grounds in Gwangju.

In the first medal semifinal on Wednesday night, USA raced to a 6-0 lead over Australia and faced tremendous opposition in the second half before winning 7-2. 

Link
24Jul2019

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