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

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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”

Results & Teams


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


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.



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.



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.


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.


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.


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. 


IOC visits FINA in Gwangju

An important IOC delegation, led by President Dr Thomas Bach was on July 23, 2019 in Gwangju (KOR) with the occasion of the 18th FINA World Championships, and had the occasion to witness the third evening of the Swimming finals at the Nambu University venue. 

Dr Bach was accompanied by four IOC Vice-Presidents, IOC Director General and IOC Sports Director and had the occasion to present medals, together with FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione to the best in the women’s 1500m free, a final won by Italian Simona Quadarella. 

World Championships 2019

Sun, Masse, Xu and King all retain titles

Four out of five finals staged on Day 3 saw title-defences, three of those were rather convincing as Kyle Masse (CAN) and Xu Jiaju (CHN - top picture) both repeated their 2017 wins in the 100m back just as Lilly King in the 100m breast. Sun Yang’s win in the 200m free came after the disqualification of Danis Rapsys (LTU) who had touched first.

World Championships 2019
Gwangju (KOR)