Spain was beaten in the final in Auckland.
Russia beat Spain 9-7 in the final of the FINA World Women’s Youth Water Polo Championships at the Sir Owen Glenn National Aquatic Centre in Auckland.
In the bronze-medal clash, Italy outgunned Netherlands 14-13 in penalty shots after the match was draw at 7-7. In the play-off for 5th place, outgoing world champion United States held out Greece 11-10. They played a draw in the group stages.
China beat Hungary 16-14 in a penalty shootout for 7th place.
The tournament, like the youth men's event some months ago in Montenegro (Podgorica), was played with just 11 instead of the 13-player rosters, with 25 seconds possession time and 15 seconds exclusion periods. This makes for a much faster style of game with more shots and plenty of goals – as the home page of the tournament said.
Next year at the Budapest Convention of FINA it will be probably decided to introduce these rules for the whole water polo world.
Final rankings in Women’s Youth World Championhships:
5. United States
10. New Zealand
14. South Africa
Most Valuable Player: Alena Serzhantova (RUS)
Highest Goal-Scorer: Alejandra Aznar (ESP)
All Star team: Antonia Young (NZL) – Maria Bersneva (RUS), Aria Fischer (USA), Alena Serzhantova (RUS), Nicoleta Eleftheriadou (GRE), Alejandra Aznar (ESP)
Alejandra Aznar (ESP) – 26 goals
Aria Fischer (USA) – 25 goals
Orsolya Hertzka (HUN) – 22 goals