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Water polo: 10 steps for the hosting women’s water polo team before the World Championships

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European champion, Olympic 4th placed Hungarian women’s water polo team has started preparing for the 17th FINA World Championships in Somorja, Slovakia.

One of the favourite teams of women’s water polo tournament is that of the Hungarian which gained European champion title in Belgrade last January and played bronze final at the Rio Olympics (finally Russia finished third).

In Kazan, 2015 the team finished 9th. This summer the teams aims at gaining a medal. Their way to 16 July, the beginning of the World Championships features the following milestones.

1. Announcing the extended roster

Head coach Attila Bíró announced the names of those 18 players who will start preparing for the tournament. The newly announced roster contains only one player who played in the former world champion team. She is Orsolya Takács and she played in the team gaining world champion title in Montreal, 2005. Members of the team claiming gold last year at the European Championships in Belgrade will all play this summer except for Hanna Kisteleki.

2. First stage of direct preparation for the World Champs

Different from previous practice preparations for the World Championships were started in the week of 15 May in the fully-equipped X-Bionic Sport Center (appropriate for 26 Olympic disciplines) in Somorja, Slovakia instead of Budapest. During the first days the girls has some interesting as well as challenging moments: in addition to light programmes, such as beach volley in the morning, cycling tour or movie watching in the cinema the schedule features a huge amount of swimming training as well.

The national team is preparing in Somorja for a whole week.

3. Players from the USA join, a week on the „Island”

Anna Illés and Dóra Antal will return from the USA in the second week. The girls attending Berkeley will return to Hungary after 9 months. Although the 50m pool of Hajós Alfréd Swimming Stadium and the grandstands are being prepared for the World Championships the national team will prepare in Széchy pool on Margaret Island.

5. First Chinese week– a tournament of 8 teams

The team will spend the first days of June in China. In addition to training the team will enter an 8-team tournament. The United States, Russia, the Netherlands, China, as well as Australia, Hungary, Greece and Japan are included in the two groups of the tournament in Kunshan.

6. Second Chinese week – World League Super Final

The Hungarian team was the first one in Europe to qualify for the World League Super Final where it will play Australia, Canada and China in group matches. The tournament in Shanghai will take place between 6 and 11 June.

7. Back to home, three weeks in Budapest then announcing the roster

Works will be continued in light of newly gained experience, it is expected that Attila Bíró will announce the final roster of 13 at the end of this stage.

8. International tournament in Miskolctapolca with strong teams

Hungary will play Olympic champion title holder US team, 4th placed Australian team and New Zealand at the Vodafone Cup in Miskolctapolca from 5 and 7 July, directly before the World Championships.

9. Trainings with the USA in Eger

Preparations will be continued with the world champion title holder USA in Bitskey pool in Eger.

10. World Championships commence in Hajós Alfréd Swimming Stadium

The 17th FINA World Championships women’s tournament will commence on 16 July on Margaret Island. The Hungarian national team will first play against Japan, further opponents include the Netherlands and France in the group.

Photos taken in the course of preparations for the World Champs in Somorja are available in the gallery below. Video reports are to be uploaded soon.