PR 43 - Croatia defeats Spain to clinch first title, Italy brings home bronze


Lausanne (SUI), June 17, 2012 – The men’s water polo team of Croatia became the pride of a whole nation by clinching their first World League title, defeating strong rival Spain 18-17 after a thrilling penalty shootout which held in suspense the many fans cheering from the stands. In the fight for the minor medal, Italy edged the United States by one goal for a 7-6 victory. 

The FINA Water Polo World League Super Final 2012 was organised from June 12-17 in Almaty (KAZ) and provided a unique opportunity for some of the world’s best water polo teams to face each other before the 2012 London Olympic Games next July.
So far, Croatia’s best result at the World League was a silver-medal finish in 2009, claiming bronze in the following 2010 and 2011 editions. The Spaniards repeat their success from 2002 and 2006, claiming a third silver medal while the Italians, who finished second last year (ahead of Croatia), capture their second bronze (first obtained in 2003).   

In the remaining games, host Kazakhstan was too good for China, winning 7-5, while Australia crushed Brazil for a 13-2 victory, yet a nice performance for the South Americans, who were taking part in their first Super Final. 

The Top Scorer of the competition was Maro Jokovic (CRO), the Most valuable player was Felipe Perrone (ESP) and Stefano Tempesti (ITA) was the Best goalkeeper.

The complete ranking of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League 2012 is as follows:

1. Croatia (CRO)
2. Spain (ESP)
3. Italy (ITA)
4. United States of America (USA)
5. Kazakhstan (KAZ)
6. China (CHN)
7. Australia (AUS)
8. Brazil (BRA)

MEDALLISTS of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League:
2002: 1. RUS, 2. ESP, 3. HUN
2003: 1. SCG, 2. HUN, 3. ITA
2004: 1. HUN, 2. SCG, 3. GRE
2005: 1. SCG, 2. HUN, 3. GER
2006: 1. SCG, 2. ESP, 3. GRE
2007: 1. SRB, 2. HUN, 3. AUS
2008: 1. SRB, 2. USA, 3. AUS
2009: 1. MNE, 2. CRO, 3. SRB
2010: 1. SRB, 2. MNE, 3. CRO
2011: 1. SRB, 2. ITA, 3. CRO
2012: 1. CRO, 2. ESP, 3. ITA