Team USA has defended its title in the women’s Olympic water polo tournament in Rio. (Image: fina.org)
Team USA has defended its title in the women’s Olympic water polo tournament in Rio. The team of Adam Krikorian beat Italy easily, 12-5 in the final. Heroes of the match were Kiley Neushul with scoring three goals and goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson once again.
"It was hitting me pretty hard. I was thinking about my brother and about how hard this journey has been. It would have been very selfish of me to let what happened to me personally effect this group. These girls have worked so hard for four years and some have worked their entire lives for this moment” – US head coach Adam Krikorian said.
"It was a miracle for us to arrive in the final and to arrive in the final was five miracles. It was a perfect tournament for us. We had five great matches and we reached the Olympic final. That was our dream but USA are on another level. We tried to stay in the match and gave all our strength, so we have nothing to cry for. We have to remember that strong teams like Australia, Spain and Hungary all finished behind us” – said head cocach of Italy, Fabio Conti.
The bronze match was a real battle between Russia and Hungary, with Russia equalising in the very last second, and winning in the penalty shootout (19-18). Hungary lost their third bronze final in a row after being defeated by Australia in 2008 and 2012.
"It felt like only our mums and dads believed in us. We were angry that nobody thought we could do it so we went out there and won. Winning the bronze it’s like a bomb! I don't really know how to express myself fully right now but it's really cool" - Anna Simanovich, scorer of the last and very important Russian goal said.
“The Russian team was getting better game by game and they demonstrated good play against Spain. Even in the semifinal against Italy. So we knew that they have a much better team than was in Belgrade at the European champs. So we knew that it would be a tough game. Our defence didn't work that well and that's why this game has gone” – Hungarian head coach Attila Bíró lamented.
(Source: fina.org, federnuoto.it)