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

Day 4 Men's Water Polo: Australia shoots out Montenegro

World Championships 2019
Gwangju, South Korea
Match 25, 10:30, KOREA 4 KAZAKHSTAN 17
Results & Teams

Match 25, 10:30, KOREA 4 KAZAKHSTAN 17

Second Round

Quarters: 1-4, 2-4, 0-7, 1-2

Referees: Daniel Flahive (AUS), Vojin Putnikovic (SRB).

Extra man: KOR: 0/6. K: 4/7.

Penalties: KOR: 1/1. KAZ: 1/2.

Shot conversion: KOR: 4/30. KAZ: 17/32.


KOREA: Jinwoo Lee, Donghyeok Kim  (1), Byeongju Kim, Seonuk Lee, Daeyong Gwon, Seonggyu Lee (1), Yeonggyun Gwon, Moonsoo Kim (1), Miknjong Chu, Hyomin Han (1), Kangwon Seo, Jaehoon Song, Byeongyoung Jung. Head Coach: Kimura Go.

KAZAKHSTAN: Pavel Lipilin, Yevgeniy Medvedev (2), Maxim Zhardan (3), Roman Pilipenko, Miras Aubakirov (4), Altay Altayev, Murat Shakenov (1), Yegor Berbelyuk (1), Stanislav Shvedov (2), Mikhail Ruday (3), Ravil Manafov, Yulian Verdesh (1), Valeriy Shlemov. Coach: Dejan Stanojevic.


Kazakhstan showed what it is capable of with a solid effort against a heavily supported Korea. Kazakhstan was always going to be the aggressor, with veteran water polo players ready to act and react. The firepower up front was also a determining factor. However, Korea worked the ball, took long shots and generally tried to resist the relentless opponent. Korea was in the match at 4-2 down at the top of the second quarter and then at 5-3 less than a second later when Seonuk Lee nailed his shot from outside. It was slim pickings from there on as Kazakhstan rained in the goals (which was interesting considering there was no rain and the sun was shining). Kazakhstan really stepped up in the third for a shut-out. At 5:17 in the fourth, Korea gained a penalty attempt and Moonsoo Kim delighted the 2000-plus crowd with a conversion for 15-4. Kazakhstan slipped out to 17-4, which was a true reflection of the difference in the teams. Miras Aubakirov was the shooting star with four goal for the victor.


Dejan Stanojevic (KAZ) — Head Coach

“Like any game for a placement at the championship it was a hard game, especially for the preparation and the need to open well. Our level, we had to show Korea what we can do. We had some technical mistakes, which we need to work on. We will now prepare for the next game and give our maximum and try to play good water polo.”

Seung Jae Lee (KOR) — Head Coach

“Although my players did their best today, we had a big score difference. I think we were much behind in defence capacity. In the first and second quarter, it seemed we could keep up with the other team. But as we lost our concentration in the third quarter, we had a big score difference.” 

Moonsoo Kim (KOR) — Goal scorer

“I feel regrettable, but I did my best. I think we need to work and train harder from now on so as to narrow the performance gap.”

Seonggyu Lee (KOR) — Goal scorer

“We’ve been competing with very competitive teams and become exhausted. But as we regarded this match as a very important one, we tried very hard supporting and helping each other. For the Korean water polo team, there has been no support and proper training, and this is our first chance to play with foreign players. Now that we had experience through this championship, I think our team-mates figured out what they should improve. So we will try to make up for our weakness.” 

Match 26, 12:00, NEW ZEALAND 8 BRAZIL12
Results & Teams

Match 26, 12:00, NEW ZEALAND 8 BRAZIL 12

Second Round

Quarters: 1-2, 4-6, 2-2, 1-2

Referees: Frank Ohme (GER), Kunihiro Sato (JPN).

Extra man: NZL: 3/6. BRA: 4/7.

Penalties: BRA: 2/2.

Shot conversion: NZL: 8/25. BRA: 12/24.


NEW ZEALAND: Sid Dymond, Matthew Lewis (2), Rowen Brown, Ryan Pike, Nicholas Stankovich (2), Matthew Small (3), Anton Sunde (1), Joshua  Potaka, Sean Bryant, Matthew Bryant, Louis Clark, Sean Newcombe, Bae Fountain. Head Coach: Davor Carevic.

BRAZIL: Slobodan Soro, Logan Cabral (1), Pedro Real (3), Gustavo Coutinho (1), Roberto Freitas, Guilherme Almeida (), Rafael Real 2(), Heitor Carrulo, Bernardo Rocha, Ruda Franco (1), Gustavo Guimaraes (3), Luis Silva, Joao Fernandes. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo.


Brazil moved into the play-off for 13th with a well-engineered match, built on a 4-1 lead that New Zealand could not bridge the gap. The Kiwis brought the margin to one through identical Nicholas Stankovich scores from the deep right and captain Matthew Small delivered for 5-4 and 7-5 to keep New Zealand in the match. Small; nailed his third consecutive goal at 8-6 early in the third period and Anton Sunde made it 10-7 to close the period. Gustavo Coutinho and Pedro Real both went on counter to secure the victory with some Kiwi honour coming with a goal in the last five seconds. Pedro Real sent three into goal from a penalty, on extra and on counter. The extra-man statistics were similar while the born 2000 Joao Fernandes, playing his first match in goal in Gwangju, made a respectable nine blocks.


Rick Azevedo (BRA) — Head Coach

“We haven’t changed our policy and we trained twice yesterday. New Zealand had strong and good desire. I didn’t like our counter-attack and we wasted opportunities. Given that we played our other goalkeeper it gave the Australian arms a little more confidence. It was his (Joao Fernandes) first game at the tournament and he made key saves. Our tactics of getting the ball into the centre is getting better and management of clock need work. We have to learn to work with the clocks and the tactics. We made a lot of changes and now we need to get back to work and we’ll see what happens.”

Gustavo Guimaraes (BRA) — Three goals

“It was a hard game because we were already tired from the championships. We had some good moments and some not so good moments, mostly in defence. At least some moments showed that we were improving, but I think we need to grow up a little bit more and learn from those mistakes we make in every game. It’s important that some players played a little more than they did in this tournament. So it’s good for them to get more experience and have more minutes in the game. I think it is important for the national team of Brazil to grow up for the future.”

Davor Carevic (NZL) — Head Coach

“We entered the match in a competitive spirit, but our six on five wasn’t where it should be.. It was a slow start and our six on five improved, but Brazil did not play (No 1 goalkeeper Slobodan) Soro in goal who is much harder to score against. We still need to get better skills overall. That’s the difference.”

Matthew Small (NZL) — Captain and three goals

“I thought we played really well. It was a very physical game and we thought we could’ve exploited it a little bit. I think we did to a certain extent, but at the same time we needed to be more clinical and finish our opportunities when we had them. It could’ve been a little bit closer. I thought Brazil played really well and they deserved to win. 

Match 27, 14:00, MONTENEGRO 11 AUSTRALIA 13 in penalty shootout
Results & Teams

Match 27, 14:00, MONTENEGRO 11 AUSTRALIA 13 in penalty shootout (FT: 9-9. Pens: 4-2)

Second Round

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

Referees: Michael Goldenberg (USA), Viktor Salnichenko (KAZ).

Extra man: MNE: 4/7. AUS: 4/9.

Penalties: MNE: 2/2.

Shot conversion: MNE: 9/30. AUS: 9/25.

MONTENEGRO: Dejan Lazovic, Drasko Brguljan (1), Duro Radovic (2), Marko Petkovic (1), Uros Cuckovic, Aleksa Ukropina, Mladan Janovic, Bogdan Durdic (1+1), Aleksandar Ivovic (3+1), Vladan Spaic, Dragan Draskovic (1) Nikola Murisic, Slaven Kandic. Head Coach: Vladimir Gojkovic.

AUSTRALIA: Joel Dennerley, Richard Campbell, George Ford, Joseph Kayes (4+1), Nathan Power, Lachlan Edwards, Aidan Roach (1+1), Aaron Younger (1+1), Andrew Ford (1), Timothy Putt, Rhys Howden (1+1), Blake Edwards (1), Anthony Hrysanthos. Coach: Elvis Fatovic.


Australia booked a quarterfinal match-up with Hungary after defeating Montenegro 13-11 in penalty shootout after drawing 9-9 at the final buzzer. Australia missed one attempt and Montenegro two and as Australia shot first, there was no need for the final Montenegro attempt. The goalkeepers made the blocks and were kept busy throughout the match in what was a powerful encounter with many twists and turns. The Aussie Sharks — World Cup silver medallist last year and World League bronze medallist this year — took a 2-0 lead, went to 4-2 and 5-3 before Montenegro levelled at five. A four-goal burst took Montenegro from 5-3 behind to 7-5 ahead. This became 8-6. The Sharks bit back with three goals straddling the final break and had a 9-8 advantage. It was Duro Radovic who levelled at 2:41 on extra-man attack. Both teams stumbled several times and gave up chances in those three minutes, but determination and a top-eight finish — let alone the prospect of a year in the wilderness ahead of the Olympic Games — brought out the heart these teams continually display. There were moments of pure joy, none more so than when Aussie Joe Kayes drove left on the two-metre line and swept in a low-flying backhand pass from captain Aaron Younger. It was critical as it brought Australia back from two goals down (7-6). There was the Montenegro shot that smashed into goalkeeper Joel Dennerley and rebounded into the back of the head of the Aussie defender and crashed into the crossbar and out for Australia to collect. Both coaches were unhappy with decisions in the last quarter and Elvis Fatovic (AUS) received a yellow card. The dominating players were Aleksandar Ivovic (MNE) who scored three of the first six goals and the first shootout goal and Joe Kayes (AUS) who netted four plus a shootout strike for five. This was the first of what could be several shootouts in the coming week. Australia shot first and both opening shots scored; both second shots were blocked; both third shots succeeded. Younger converted the third Australian shot and Mladan Janovic was blocked. Rhys Howden stepped up and scored for the victory and a 4-2 shootout. Montenegro now goes to the round of 9-12, something it probably did not anticipate while on the plane to Korea. As a nation in its own right, Montenegro has to look back to that first visit to the World Championships where it finished ninth — beating Australia for the position. Since then Montenegro was seventh in 2011, second in Barcelona in 2013, fifth in Kazan four years ago and fourth in Budapest 2017.


Joe Kayes (AUS) — Five goals

“It was extremely difficult to play with them because they’re so experienced and they never give up. Every single one of the players was dangerous, so we had to be aggressive for the whole period; I mean even until the very end there was no clear winner. So we are just happy that today was our turn and we’re going to take every opportunity.”

George Ford (AUS)

“We had the game plan and we had to bring everything to the match. We stuck to the game plan and got the job done.”

Richard Campbell (AUS) — Shootout goal

“There were a few lapses after a very intense start. We had to grind away, grind away. There was a lapse in the third quarter but we stuck it out.” Before the shootout: “There were a few flutters here and there as in the fourth quarter against Montenegro we were pretty buggered.”

Vladimir Gojkovic (MNE) — Head Coach

“We expected a very hard game with Australia. In the first half we missed a lot of extra-man (attacks) then we had to make some goals to come back. I can tell that some goals were expected, then there was a penalty shootout like the World League. It was not a good result. We expected not just to be in the quarterfinals, but in the semifinals. In the shootout we made some very bad shoots. We had an easy game against South Korea (two days ago) so we were not tired. We did not have a fresh finish.”

Results & Teams


Second Round

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

Referees: German Moller (GER), Sebastien Dervieux (FRA).

Extra man: GRE: 6/10. USA: 6/12

Penalties: GRE: 2/2.

Shot conversion: GRE: 11/26. USA: 9/29.


GREECE: Emmanouil Zervedas, Konstaninos Genidounias (4), Dimitrios Skoumpakis (1), Alexandros Papanastasiou,Ioannis Fountoulis (1), Marios Kapotsis, Georgios Dervisis, Stylianos Argyropoulos, Konstantinos Mourikis (2), Christodoulos Kolomvos (1), Alexandros Gounas (2), Angelos Vlachopoulos, Konstantinos Galanidis. Head Coach: Theodoros Vlachos.

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


This was a high-fouling match with 12 extra-man goals, a handful of players not seeing the end of the match, including one (Stylianos Argyropoulos) who was red-carded at 2:36 in the first period. There were stoppages for confusing situations and there was a match going on between two teams who had trouble separating themselves — in the water and on the scoreboard. Credit to both teams as they fought hard for the win and had the match level at one, four, six, seven and eight by the final break. Greece held it together, going 10-8 ahead and on to the win, gaining a clash with Italy in the quarters. Both teams showed quality patches and Luca Cupido’s goal was a ripper, striking the left upright, across to the goalkeeper and deflected back into goal at 7-7. Ben Hallock slapped in a rebound to the bottom corner when 6-5 down. Konstantinos Mourikis also did a slap shot on the left post, but it looked not enough until goalkeeper Alexander Wolf could not pick it up and aided it further into goal. Johnny Hooper brought the match further alive in the final quarter when he rocketed in a shot for 10-9, giving USA hope for a shootout at 2:32. Konstaninos Genidounias did the damage at 1:00 with a conversion of extra-man attack for his fourth goal, doubling his Gwangju tally. In Budapest two years ago, Greece was seventh and USA 13th.


Theodoros Vlachos (GRE) — Head Coach

“Finally, my players showed the passion and the correct way to play. We found a solution on the man up (6/10). It’s not the best result (goal difference), but we showed quality to get to the top eight and fight another day. This game, particularly, gives us the opportunity to keep dreaming.” On the confusion with the double exclusion at 2:25 in the third period when the match was poised 7-7: “The two referees and the judge made a decision and I respect this. It was a critical moment in the game and could have given an advantage. We now play Italy (in the quarterfinals) — two European teams — and we know each other well. Italy is a great team with big experience of quarterfinals and finals. We will try and play better than today.”

Emmanouil Zerdevas (GRE) — Goalkeeper

“It was a difficult game, which means a lot for us. We’ve got what we wanted. We are very happy and happy about the next game. I think we will play against Italy for the next game to enter the semifinals. We will get some rest for the day and tomorrow we will prepare for the next game.”

Dejan Udovicic (USA) — Head Coach

“I think we just didn’t have enough concentration to stay calm to convert what we deserved for all the three quarters. We found have to learn fast how to play a physical game. We just didn’t finish. I’m proud of my players how they play and fight and deal with this kind of play.”

Alex Bowen (USA) — Goal scorer

“Heart-breaking. In a word, heart-breaking. I mean we made too many mistakes at the end of the game. That’s what it all came down to it. We accept the result. I mean it’s the way sports go. We keep our heads up. We’re not done yet. We still have a job to do and finish the tournament out. And then we also have the Pan Ams later in a month and we need to do our best there, too.”

Match 29, 17:00, SPAIN 15 JAPAN 7
Results & Teams

Match 29, 17:00, SPAIN 15 JAPAN 7

Second Round

Quarters: 2-1, 3-3, 4-2, 6-1

Referees: Arkadiy Voevodin (RUS), Dion Willis (RSA).

Extra man: ESP: 9/10. JPN: 2/14

Penalties: ESP: 2/2. JPN: 1/1.

Shot conversion: ESP: 15/27. JPN: 7/34.


SPAIN: Daniel Lopez, Alberto Munarriz (6), Alvaro Granados (2), Miguel De Toro (1), Sergi Cabanas, Marc Larumbe, Alberto Barroso (2), Francisco Fernandez, Roger Tahull (2), Felipe Perrone (1), Blai Mallarach (1), Alejandro Bustos, Eduardo Lorrio. Coach: David Martin.

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


Spain surged into the quarterfinals with a handsome 15-7 victory. It was a different match from the previous two, but it offered plenty of drama, spectacular goals and brilliant play. Japan suffered badly from the limited time Keigo Okawa managed to play after he suffered a “bump” to the nose and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. His 13 minutes could have been much more. It was tied at one, two and three and Japan was in it at halftime only for Spain to piece together strings of goals. Four straight at the top of the fourth period really hammered the nail into the coffin. When one looks at the extra-man statistics you have to be amazed that Spain could convert what it did — nine from 10 — while Japan suffered badly and scored just two from 14. That means 12 goals went begging. Then count the seven extra shots Japan took over Spain and you have to say Spain was very efficient today. Roger Tahull was relishing some freedom at two metres and Alberto Munarriz scored a superb six goals at 100 per cent. He had the ability to pop up everywhere and once found himself free in front of the cage to score the easiest of goals. Spain’s rampage in the second half augurs well for the mountainous match ahead — Serbia. Japan will clash with Montenegro in the 9-12 semifinals.


David Martin (ESP) — Head Coach
“I’m very proud of the team and we had very strong defence. It’s difficult against Japan and we held them to just seven goals. The counter-attack of Japan is very dangerous. On man down Spain was very good and our goalkeeper (Daniel Lopez) was also very good (he made 13 saves).” On the quarterfinal: “Serbia. We have played the European Championship final and the European Cup final. I know it’s not the same team with six or seven of their top players not here. Serbia is always Serbia and they have Dejan Savic as the coach.”

Felipe Perrone (ESP) — Captain

“I think it was a very good game. The Japanese have their style of playing beautiful water polo. I think everybody enjoyed it and for us it’s very important to win. We are really happy and now prepare for the quarterfinals. Now we need to think about Serbia and play the quarterfinals. I think we learnt from today’s game to resist all the match because the Japanese team has a way that puts you on alert. They play a way that you‘re always in the situation they can counter-attack. So it’s important to be very concentrated. I think today we concentrated during all the game.”

Seiya Adachi (JPN) — Two goals

“If we had won this game, we would have finished the highest position at the world championships, but we’ve never achieved that. We really wanted to win this game. In that sense I’m quite regrettable for the result. We were playing well in the first half, but in the second half our defence system and defence skill didn’t work as well as we should have done. Therefore, that is the main reason why we didn’t win in this game.”


Match 30, 18:30, SOUTH AFRICA 5 GERMANY 25
Results & Teams

Match 30, 18:30, SOUTH AFRICA 5 GERMANY 25

Second Round

Quarters: 2-5, 0-6, 1-9, 2-5

Referees: Jaume Teixido (ESP), Juan Carlos (Menendez (CUB).

Extra man: RSA: 0/7. GER: 9/11.

Penalties: RSA: 1/1. GER 2/3.

Shot conversion: RSA: 5/28. GER: 25/40.


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

GERMANY: Moritz Schenkel,Ben Riebel (3), Timo van der Bosch (2), Julian Real (1), Tobias Preuss (2), Maurice Jungling (), Denis Strelezkij (1), Lukas Gielen (6), Marko Stamm (3), Mateo Cuk (2), Marin Restovic (3), Dennis Eidner (1), Kevin Gotz. Head Coach: Hagen Stamm.


Germany had the easiest of the second-round matches, swimming all over South Africa, gaining valuable practice for its quarterfinal date with Croatia, the form team of these championships. It will be two very different encounters, more like the David and Goliath fable. Marko Stamm is proving that his damaged foot is no impediment and he led a team that saw all of the field players convert passes or swims to goals. Lukas Gielen sent in a couple of missiles from well outside and one from the penalty line in his six goals, which lifts him to 11 here in Gwangju. The African team scored two late goals and had another rejected by the VAR technology. Nardus Badenhorst hammered one in from close and Sven Van Zyl nailed his first goal of the week on counter with 27 seconds remaining, giving his team consecutive goals. Germany fired in an incredible nine from 11 on extra-man attack, one of the best in the tournament. South Africa will now play USA, which came so close to going top eight, a huge turnaround from 13th two years ago. 


Hagen Stamm (GER) — Head Coach

“We needed to win. In the first quarter sometimes we were blocked. It was one goal more than in Berlin (last year’s World Cup). I think it was a good game. “It was a warm-up for an easy game against Croatia,” he joked.

Luuk Gielen (GER) — Six goals

“Well, I don’t think that’s the most important thing. The most important thing for us is that we made it to the top eight. That was our big goal and that was our real dream for the tournament. So now it’s up to see how far we can get. In the tournament I think it was really big efforts today, which was the most important. We knew we were a little bit of a stronger team. But you always have to play and always have to show it. So I think everybody played their piece today.”

Paul Martin (RSA) — Head Coach

“That is the most attacking polo we have played at this tournament. We were more physical off the ball on attack and we had a lot of opportunities. We never play these games. We were worried about the press and we made wrong decisions with shots and they went on counter-attack. They wanted to show how good they were. The biggest issue for us is consistency and the physicality, which killed us. We earned a lot more exclusions, so that was good.”

Sven Van (RSA) — Goal scorer

“It was very nice. My first goal in the third game of the championship; it’s a nice feeling. I also play in Germany (Hamburg), so it was nice to score a goal against Germany. I know how they play. Most of them play in two clubs in Germany. So I know them. It’s fantastic!” 

Gwangju, South Korea.— Australia survived a penalty shootout against Montenegro 13-11 to be the first second-round team to make Tuesday's quarterfinals on the fourth day of the FINA World Championships men's water polo tournament at the Nambu University Grounds in Gwangju.


Diving, Day 9: Flawless 10m final gives 12th gold for China

A record-high dive worth 114.80! 17 perfect marks! In a showdown between Chinese divers Yang Jian and Yang Hao on the men's 10m platform final, it was Yang Jian who finally shined as the newly-crowned champion at the 18th FINA World here on Saturday.

China bagged 12 gold, nine silver and one bronze to top the medal table after the diving competition finished, while Australia snatched the remaining gold in mixed 3m springboard.  

World Championships 2019

Artistic Swimming, Day 9: Russia wins World Championship gold number 60

Two events were scheduled for the final evening of the Artistic Swimming discipline at the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea, the Mixed Free Duet and the Free Combo. It is the third time that the Mixed Free Duet event is contested at a World Championship, and the Mixed Duet events are slowly gaining popularity. Both Australia, represented by Ethan Calleja and Danielle Kettlewell and Uzbekistan, represented by Dinara Ibragimova and Vyacheslav Rudney, competed for the first time in the Mixed events in Gwangju.

World Championships 2019

Gala Dinner celebrates FINA’s anniversary and Gwangju’ success

The traditional FINA Gala Dinner, staged during the 18th FINA World Championships, took place on July19 in Gwangju (KOR), gathered the FINA family in a day that commemorated the 111th anniversary of FINA. Representatives of National Federations, Technical Committees, sponsors and partners, media, and of course from the Organising Committee of the FINA showcase had the occasion to celebrate together the success of the Championships so far. 

World Championships 2019

Day 4 Women's Water Polo — Dutch, Hungary, Greece, Australia into quarters

World Championships 2019
Gwangju, South Korea
Match 25, 10:30, SOUTH AFRICA 26 KOREA 3
Results & Teams

Match 25, 10:30, SOUTH AFRICA 20 KOREA 3

Classification for 13-14 semifinal

Quarters: 7-1, 4-0, 7-1, 8-1

Referees: Arkadiy Voevodin (RUS), Kunihiro Sato (JPN).

Extra man: RSA: 5/8. KOR: 2/7.

Penalties: RSA: 2/3.

Shot conversion: RSA: 26/37. KOR: 3/19.


SOUTH AFRICA: Lauren Nixon, Yanah Gerber (4), Nthatisi Mota (2), Emma Joubert (2), Georgia Moir (1), Amica Hallendorff (4), Lucy Miszewski (4), Kate Hinrichs (2), Jordan Wedderburn (3), Nicola MacLeod (3), Chloe Meecham (1), Christine Abrahamse, Zanne Smit. Head Coach: Pierre Le Roux.

KOREA: Heeji Oh, Chaeyoung Lim, Jungeun Lee (1), Yeseo Song,Daseul Kyung (1), Hanna Yoon Ryan, Gaeun Lee, Jimin Choi, Yearin Yun, Ye Jin Kim Nayoung Kwon, Yelim Cho (1), Minju Kim. Head Coach: Man Keun Jin.


When nearly 3000 people turn out for a water polo match in Asia, it is remarkable. When they turn out for a round of 13-16 semifinal for women in Gwangju, Korea, at 10.30am, it is just astonishing.  Of course, the team they were all cheering was their darlings — the media sensation of the FINA World Championships. They are front-page news — and that is when they are losing! The crowd was still pouring in during the fourth quarter and by then they had missed the big two — Korea’s goals. Daseul Kyung, already a household name in this peninsular nation about to face the onslaught of Typhoon Danas, netted her third goal of the championship and team-mate Yelim Cho her first on the world stage. The third goal came from Jungeun Lee at 20-3, her second of the tournament.  These talented swimmers, who have donned water polo caps for the first time in Gwangju, are learning new skills each day. South Africa, also on the blunt end here, picked up a first win and in doing so, made the classification play-off for 13th place on Monday. South Africa, a team changed from that which performed with distinction at the Intercontinental Cup in Perth last March, has a win — definitely its biggest at this level — and will be challenging with Japan on Monday. South Africa was always going to win and may seem to be the “bad gal” in this match as the screaming fans reached fever pitch with each Korean touch. Yana Gerber, captain Amica Hallendorff and Lucy Miszewski all scored four goals.


Pierre Le Roux (RSA) — Head Coach

“It was a fantastic win for the South African ladies’ side. It is the biggest win South Africa has had, so a very positive game. This means we place two places higher than the last world champs. On a separate side I think it’s fantastic news for world water polo that we have developing teams competing at this tournament so really a positive run for water polo.”

Lauren Nixon (RSA) — Goalkeeper

“That was definitely the biggest win in South African history and the biggest goal difference. It was a huge honour to play the host of the tournament and show sportsmanship throughout. It’s incredible to be part of it hearing them scream. It’s something you dream of as little kids in awe hoping you do well and seeing them get support because many times that was us. It’s really insane; we were playing against the USA, the best in the world, and we had the ball and they were screaming for us to go. It’s an incredible feeling.”

Amica Hallendorff (RSA) — Captain and four goals

“We are really excited to be a part of history and that we can come out and try things that we have been working on. It’s going to be really hard because we are going to play the winner of Japan and Cuba so we want to really come out firing. This is really exciting and (Japan) we are really happy to come out with a win.”

Emma Joubert (RSA) — Two goals

“The best thing was when Korea scored and everyone cheered and the players cried.”

Yelim Cho (KOR) — Goal scorer

“I’m the youngest in my team and today I scored my first goal. I just can’t believe I did it! We didn’t have much time for preparing for this championship, but we worked hard for the short-given period. I made many mistakes in passing a ball, so I think I should be more careful when I do any action.”

Jungeun Lee (KOR) — Goal scorer

“I’m feeling great. I think I was able to score a goal today thanks to my team-mates’ assistance. I think we should try to build better defence capacity and practise more for better passing.”  

Match 26, 12:00, CUBA 9 JAPAN 21
Results & Teams

Match 26, 12:00, CUBA 9 JAPAN 21

Classification for 13-14 semifinal

Quarters: 3-6, 2-6, 2-4, 2-5

Referees: Gabriella Varkonyi (HUN), John Waldow (NZL).

Extra man: CUB: 2/3. JPN: 6/9.

Penalties: CUB: 1/1. JPN: 1/1.

Shot conversion: CUB: 9/24. JPN: 21/35.


CUBA: Mairelis Zunzunegui, Dalia Grau (2), Madonni Chavez (1), Thaimi Gonzalez, Daniuska Carrasco (2), Mayelin Bernal (3), Jennifer Plasencia, Arisel Gonzalez, Cecilia Diaz (1), Dianela Frias, Lisbeth Santana, Aliannis Ramirez, Arisney Ramos. Head Coach: Jorge del Valle.

JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Yumi Arima (5), Akari Inaba (1), Shino Magariyama (2), Chiaki Sakanoue (1), Miku Koide, Maiko Hashida (3), Yuki Niizawa (2), Minori Yamamoto (1), Misaki Noro (4), Marina Tokumoto (1), Kotori Suzuki (1), Minami Shioya. Head Coach: Makihiro Motomiya.


Japan had the bad luck to be drawn in the same group as China, Italy and Australia and by losing each match by only two goals. In doing so it scored 20 goals and today Japan had a chance to run riot and ram in more than 20 goals, thus doubling its scoring record. However, that meant little to the Japanese team that easily had the capacity to play in the top 12, something it needs to do as Tokyo 2020 approaches. Yumi Arima, the scoring sensation for Japan, netted five goals to lift her tournament tally to 13. Misaki Noro scored four, including the first two and a big counter at 10-4. Rikako Miura made eight saves in her stint in goal before handing over to Minami Shioya. Japan will play South Africa for 13th and Cuba will have the honour of a big crowd for the 15-16 play-off with Korea.


Makihiro Motomiya (JPN) — Head Coach

“I am very happy with the win. We showed that with the goal difference. I told the girls the first objective is winning, then we naturally played — a good achievement and goal difference. Especially in the beginning we could not keep up a good rhythm so we need to fix that. (Monday’s match) It’s the fifth game and they are tired so we have to take care of fitness so we can be fully prepared for the last game.”

Kotori Suzuki (JPN) — Captain and player of the match

“I’m very happy with the outcome of this match. As you know, all of the past three games, we lost with a very marginal goal score difference so it was quite regrettable. But we were very determined among the team-mates that we would win this game and we have done it!”

Jorge del Valle (CUB) — Head coach

“I’m not happy today. It was a good game and I think the team can play better. We practised some tactics this moment and it was good. We had trouble with Japan’s contra-attack and that was the difference.”

Mayelin Bernal (CUB) — Three goals

“Despite scoring three goals today, I feel sad because the score difference was too high. I’m not happy at all. Our objective was to make no score difference in this match, but the result came out like this.” 

Match 27, 14:00, NETHERLANDS 5 CANADA 4
Results & Teams


Match 27, 14:00, NETHERLANDS 5 CANADA 4

Second Round

Quarters:  0-0, 4-2, 0-1, 1-1

Referees: Frank Ohme (GER), Stanko Ivanovski (MNE)

Extra man: NED: 1/3. CAN: 2/3.

Penalties: NED: 1/1. CAN: 1/1.

Shot conversion: NED: 5/34. CAN: 4/31.2


NETHERLANDS: Joanne Koenders, Maud Megens (2), Dagmar Genee, Catharina Van der Sloot (1), Iris Wolves (1), Nomi Stomphorst, Bente Rogge (1), Vivian Sevenich, Maartje Keuning, Ilse Koolhaas, Simone Van der Kraats, Brigitte Sleeking, Rozanne Voorvelt, Sarah Buis. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

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


European champion Netherlands slipped into the quarterfinals courtesy of scoring four goals in the second quarter. Four of five!

Defence and the two goalkeepers having super days meant we went nine minutes before the first ball crossed the line. Like breaking the four-minute mile on the track, the following year 100 men made the mark. In the second quarter the Dutch shot to 2-0 and 3-1 before Canada replied through Emma Wright a minute from halftime. Wright scored on extra after a timeout in the third and had the possibility of a tie when her penalty shot was blocked by goalkeeper Joanne Koenders. Goals were traded early in the fourth period and for the last five minutes it was like the first quarter.

The key to Canada’s zone defence included a dropped player in the goal, which proved most effective. Many of Netherlands’ attempts were channelled to Jessica Gaudreault because of this excellent plan. One of the best chances for Canada to force a shoot-out was when Joelle Bekhazi drove deep right and cannoned her shot into the right upright. Netherlands is probably the classier team, but it will need to lift more than a notch for the quarterfinals and beyond.

Pictures: Istvan Derencsenyi


Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach

“It was a tough game and the defence of Canada was very good. They were difficult to play. They had good team tactics. Ia m happy we made it to the end and into the quarterfinals. We weren’t convincing enough. Compliments to them (Canada). Our defence was good — only four goals, right? It’s good to be able to defend so well and only allow four goals through.”

Dagmar Genee (NED) — Captain

“It was a really hard game. We had some difficulties in attack, but I think our defence was really good: They only scored four times. But we have to be more creative with our chances, be more focused and eager to score a goal. We are going to the quarterfinal. We play Spain next. I’m really happy.”

Jessica Gaudreault (CAN) — Captain

“I think we played well for the most part, but I think the second quarter really killed us. I mean it’s also disappointment to be in the bottom, especially when obviously we don’t really deserve to be there when it was a close game only losing by one goal. We have the Pan Am Games coming up in a week. That’s also an important tournament for us, so we just look forward to that.” On today’s lesson: “I think nothing that we didn’t already know. We just have to finish our opportunities, and that’ll really put us ahead next time.”

Match 28, 15:30, NEW ZEALAND 6 HUNGARY 17
Results & Teams

Match 28, 15:30, NEW ZEALAND 6 HUNGARY 17

Second Round

Quarters: 2-4, 1-4,  1-4, 2-5

Referees: Natacha Florestano (BRA), Juan Carlos Menendez (CUB).

Extra man: NZL: 2/11. 6/10.

Penalties: NZL: 1/2.

Shot conversion: NZL: 6/24. HUN: 17/35.


NEW ZEALAND: Jessica Milicich, Emily Nicholson, Bernadette Doyle (1), Shinae Carrington, Elizabeth Alsemgeest, Morgan McDowall (2), Emmerson Houghton (2), Katie McKenty, Grace Tobin, Kaitlin Howarth (1), Amanda Lemon, Kate Enoka, Bridget Layburn. Head Coach: Angie Winstanley-Smith.

HUNGARY: Edina Gangl, Dorottya Szilagyi (2), Rebecca Parkes (1), Greta Gurisatti (2), Natasa Rybanska (1), Brigitta Horvath, Anna Illes (1), Rita Keszthelyi (4), Dora Leimeter (3), Aniko Gyongyossy, Dora Toth-Csabai (1), Vanda Valyi (2), Alda Magyari. Head Coach: Attila Biro.


New Zealand is a long way from the hotspots of world water polo, but the distance does not seem that far. The distance from Auckland to Budapest is just 17,694 — a long way to swim. However, the synergy between the two countries is such that players and coaches are almost interchangeable.

The same can be said of Australians who have an equal affinity to Hungary. Hungarian coach Attila Biro is not unknown to the Kiwi girls as he has coached many of them before. He was the national coach of New Zealand in 2013-2016 before taking up his role back home. One player Hungary has managed to attract is Rebecca Parkes who shifted there three years ago. She scored the first two goals against her former nation this afternoon.

Dorrottya Szilagyi, another double scorer today, played in New Zealand and Australia as a youngster when her father Peter had coaching stints Down Under. So New Zealand was well aware of the style and the enormity that confronted it in this important encounter. Hungary went 3-0 up and led 4-2 at the first break. This became 8-3 at halftime and 12-4 by the last break. The Kiwis scored twice in the final period with 17-year-old Morgan McDowall muscling in a centre-forward goal, her second, inside the final minute and her 10th for the week. Rita Keszthelyi led her team in style with four goals to bring her Gwangju tally to 19. And Parkes’ pair made it 14. The Hungarian counter-attack, devastating extra-man conversion rate and sheer strength were most redeeming features.

Photos: Istvan Derencsenyi


Attila Biro (HUN) — Head Coach

On being a former New Zealand coach: “It’s a nice challenge. I coached there in 2013-16 and I coached some of them. They have a lot of young players and they played pretty well. After the Russian game we prepared for this game and had very good preparation. It’s nice to see my former team and good luck to the Kiwi girls.”

Dora Leimeter (HUN) — Three goals

“It was nice and I think we needed this match because we had a lot of chances to practise. I think it was good and necessary for us. I think we should speak a lot to each other; it was important and it will be very important for the future. I think it was the most important thing for this match.”

Angie Winstanley-Smith (NZL) — Head Coach

“It was a really physical game. We had to play 100 per cent all the time against one of the medal teams. We respected them, but we didn’t let them walk all over us. We will come out on Monday with the same spirit and same heart (to play the classification group 9-12). My girls didn’t give up. They’re young but they’ve got heart. They listen and try to execute. They do try hard. It’s an exciting few years ahead for us.”

Morgan McDowall (NZL) — Two goals

“It was just a really hard game. I mean we fought sort of well. The first quarter was really good. We started with the fundamentals and the second, third, fourth, we just lost our turn and just all kind of came there. I’m pretty upset. I think we could’ve gone there and fought harder and kicked the score, but you know, closer, but I mean it’s what it is. We’re just going to face and come top 10. I just learned that we really need to play with discipline for the whole time even if we lose everything else. The number one thing is to stick with it because if we lose it, everything else kind of goes. Play with the fundamentals; not try to do tricky stuff.”

Match 29, 17:00, GREECE CHINA
Results & Teams

Match 29, 17:00, GREECE 12 CHINA 8

Second Round

Quarters: 4-1, 2-2, 4-4, 2-1

Referees: Nenad Perez (CRO), Dion Willis (RSA).

Extra man: GRE: 5/8. CHN: 2/8.

Penalties: GRE: 1/1. CHN: 1/2.

Shot conversion: GRE: 12/26. CHN: 8/37.


GREECE: Ioanna Stamatopoulou, Christina Tsoukala (2), Alkistis Benekou, Nikoleta Eleftheridou (1), Maria Patra, Alkisti Avramidou (2), Alexandra Asimaki (1), Ioanna Chydirioti (1), Christina Kotsia, Eirini Ninou (1), Eleftheria Plevritou (3), Eleni Xenaki (1), Marina Kotsioni. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

CHINA: Lin Peng, Xinyan Wang (1), Xiaohan Mei, Dunhan Xiong, Guannan Niu (1), Ning Guo, Huan Wang, Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (4), Danyi Zhang (1), Xiao Chen, Jing Zhang (1), Wenxin Dong. Head Coach: Dali Gong.


Greece bounced back from a poor second half against Kazakhstan in its previous match and is looking to get back on track for the sharper end of the tournament. Greece forced China into errors with its strong defence. Scoring three more goals on extra-man attack than China with the same number of chances, is a vital statistic when it comes to that four-goal final margin. That and a missed penalty shot. China had 11 more shots than Greece, but many of those were off target so it only has itself to blame. Head coach Dali Gong wasted few words in describing how badly his team played and the exile to the round of 9-12 is not where it planned or wanted to be. Greece, on the other hand is back to full strength and power, which pleased head coach Georgios Morfesis.


George Morfesis (GRE) — Head Coach

“For the first time at these World Championships we played as a Greek team, smart and clever on offence. I would like to thank my players. We had common training with the USA (earlier in the month) and played badly in our first match with Spain. We did play clever like Greek teams normally do. The best thing today was our defence and our goalie (Ioanna Stamatopoulou).”

Alkisti Avramidou (GRE) — Two goals

“I am really happy. I’m really proud of my team. We were stressed about this game because we knew that China is a really good team. We tried for the best and tried to play good defence. That’s why we took this game. In the beginning, it was stressful, like I said, but we managed the stress and tried to achieve some easy goals. We had really good scores — a lot of goals when the opponent was excluded. I think that was the key and that made a difference.” 

Dali Gong (CHN) — Head Coach

“I’m very sorry, we played a very bad game today. We really want to play good water polo and focus on attack. We defended badly as well. Yes, our shooting was very bad.”

Dunhan Xiong (CHN)

“For us, it was a really hard game because if we win, we can enter the top eight. We were asked to prepare well, but we couldn’t get together often and do a lot of preparation. In the first quarter we couldn’t focus well. We are all sad, but we will continue to play other games, so we cannot give up. I think we need more concentration in the first quarter and appreciate our team-mates.” 

Results & Teams

Match 30, 18:30, KAZAKHSTAN 3 AUSTRALIA 13

Second Round

Quarters: 0-4, 1-2, 2-3, 0-4

Referees: Vojin Putnikovic (SRB), Marie-Claude Deslieres (CAN).

Extra man: KAZ: 1/7. AUS: 3/9.

Penalties: Nil

Shot conversion: KAZ: 3/26. AUS: 13/32.


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


Australia collected a third win, but the one that matters — making the top eight. The 4-0 opening quarter was excellent and it became 5-0 early in the second, staying that way for five and a half minutes as the Kazakhstan defence stepped up. The Aussie Stingers went to 7-1 before Kazakhstan struck back and 8-2 with Zamira Myrzabekova netting her second. More than three minutes later Australia closed the period 9-3. Another block-out quarter had Australia easily through to the eight. Bronte Halligan, such a worker with little scoring return before this match, dropped in four goals to take her tally to five. Australia’s extra-man attack was a shade better than the Asians while Aussie goalkeeper Gabriella Palm stopped 12 shots. While Australia will play Russia for a shot at the medal round, Kazakhstan will face New Zealand in the 9-12 round.


Zoe Arancini (AUS) — Two goals in her 250th international

“For us we started well, but we were not consistent. The next game is Russia and they capitalise on your mistakes. Our defence was to press and be dominant. Defence is one point we are happy with going into the next game.”

Marat Naurazbekov (KAZ) — Head Coach

“Australia is a very strong team and my team had to work hard on defence. We played a zone, which worked OK. Our attack was the problem tonight. They blocked many shots. Now it is Kazakhstan-New Zealand (in the round 9-12) and that could be a 50-50 game, which will be very important for us.”

Gwangju, South Korea.— Netherlands, Hungary, Greece and Australia have won through to the quarterfinals during fourth-day play of the FINA World Championship women's water polo tournament at the Nambu University Grounds in Gwangju.

Netherlands snuck in with an unimpressive 5-4 win over Canada. Six of the nine goals came in the second quarter after a defensive first quarter.