PR33 - Women's World League: European groups start preliminaries today in Athens and Lille


Preliminary action begins today for the 6th edition of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League, which this year welcomes 14 countries representing five continents: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Spain and USA. Preliminaries will take place from May 8 to May 31 in seven countries (USA, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, France, Germany and Spain).

This weekend (May 8-10), the cities of Athens (GRE) and Lille (FRA) will host the 1st preliminary rounds among the two European groups (Group 1: RUS, GRE, GER, GBR will meet in Greece, and Group 2: ESP, ITA, FRA, RSA will meet in France). Further preliminary tournaments – notably the 2nd European preliminary round in Bochum (GER) and Madrid (ESP), and the 1st preliminary Asia-Oceania round in Adelaide (AUS) - will be held the weekend of May 22-24. Finally, from May 29-31, the 2nd Asia-Oceania Preliminary will take place, as will the preliminary games between the Americas teams (CAN, USA).

Here is the competition schedule for this weekend:

Lille (FRA)

Athens (GRE)

May 8

May 8

19:00 ITA–ESP

20:45 GRE-GER

20:30 FRA–RSA

22:00 RUS-GBR

May 9

May 9

19:00 ESP–RSA

19:45 RUS-GER

20:30 FRA–ITA

21:00 GRE-GBR

May 10

May 10

12:00 ITA–RSA

13:00 GER-GBR

13:30 FRA–ESP

14:15 GRE-RUS

The entries this year indicate the 2009 World League will be highly competitive. Two of the medallist teams from the Beijing Olympics – USA and Australia – have entered, as have all the teams from the 2008 Super Final. There is also twice the number of participating nations in the 2009 World League preliminary than there was in last year’s edition. Particularly encouraging is the first international competitive appearance of South Africa, which will compete in the preliminaries among the European teams.

In the Super Final, which is scheduled for Kirishi (RUS) from June 9-14, the best two teams of Asia/Oceania, the best four teams from the European Groups, plus USA and Canada, will compete for the 2009 World League title.

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