Water polo: after Serbian World League triumph, final stage of preparation has started
It was certainly close for giant Serbian team in the semi-final and final at the World League Super Final, but in the end defending champion made a spectacular attack and won both games. Serbia won its fifth straight and 11th overall gold medal in the series. Italian team played pretty well in Ruza, near Moscow but Australian team seemed to be weaker than before. Meanwhile home team of the 17th FINA World Championships won the traditional Samartzidis Cup in Athens as the only unbeaten team.
Serbia and Croatia won all their matches during the group stage of the World League Super Final thus they could play against the 4th placed team for the semi-finals. In the first section of the tournament American and Italian national team played an extremely exciting and entertaining game, Italy could be delighted at the end after the penalties. By the way these two teams could tussle with Serbians in the second part of the tournament.
Australian team arrived in Ruza with a young team, as Elvis Fatovic, head coach of the team had said before, his team could develop game by game until the World Championships. This endeavor resulted in the 7th position in Russia.
Russian home team’s performance was absolutely fine (5th place) thanks to Daniil Merkulov’s performance, for instance, who scored 15 goals in the tournament.
Both semi-finals (Serbia-United States and Croatia-Italy) were close fights and tough battles, winning teams were decided after penalties – American team had the advantage throughout almost the entire game.
In the final Serbian team went to a big depth in the beginning, as Italy scored 4 goals against 0. However, as usual in previous years, Serbia arose and won the game thanks to 3-3 goals by Dusko Pijetlovic and Stefan Mitrovic.
In the winning team two youngsters, Gavril Subotic and Radomir Drasovic were included and the head coach, Dejan Savic invited Nemanja Ubovic, too for this tournament – they three were not there in Rio de Janeiro last year.
Short interview with Branislav Mitroc about the World Championships in May:
Short interview with Maro Jokovic about the World Championships in May:
Reigning World, European and Olympic champion Serbia will train with Hungary, the home team of the 17th FINA World Championships for three days from 3 of July, in Kecskemet.
By the way Hungary won the traditional Greek tournament, Samartzidis Cup in Athens last week. Hungarian national team gained the first place as the only unbeaten team ahead of Montenegro, Spain, Greece and Canada.
World League Super Final:
United States-Italy 7-9 (after penalties)
United States-Kazakhstan 14-10
Serbia-United States 15-8
Final rankings: 1. Serbia, 2. Italy, 3. United States, 4. Kazakhstan
Final rankings: 1. Croatia, 2. Russia, 3. Australia, 4. Japan
United States-Russia 8-6
Italy-Croatia 9-7 – after penalties
United States-Serbia 11-13 – after penalties
For 5-8th places:
Australia-Kazakhstan 11-12 – after penalties
Russia-Japan 18-17 – after penalties
For 7th place:
For 5th place:
For 3rd place:
Croatia-United States 10-4
4. United States
1. Andelo Setka (Croatia) 19 goals
2. Aaron Younger (Australia) 16 goals
3. Pietro Figlioli (Italy) and Daniil Merkulov (Russia) 15-15 goals
Samartzidis Cup, Athens:
MVP: Alberto Munarriz (Spain)
Best goalkeeper: Milan Randelovic (Canada)