PR39 - In four days, 36 games took place in three continents


After an intense weekend, in which 36 games were played in four days and in three continents, the image is now clearer concerning the teams that will be present in the Super Finals of the 2009 FINA Water Polo World Leagues, respectively in Podgorica (MNE, June 16-21) for men and in Kirishi (RUS, June 9-14) for women.

For the men’s tournament, Casablanca (MAR) hosted the African preliminary round, with the presence of four teams: Algeria, Libya, Morocco and South Africa. The South Africans dominated the operations, winning the six games of the competition and assuring their place in the Super Final. Algeria was second (four wins and two losses), Morocco finished third (two triumphs and two defeats) and Libya lost all its six matches.

Still among the men, took place in Adelaide (AUS) the first of the two tournaments concerning the Asia/Oceania group (the second one will be organised in Auckland, NZL, from May 29-31). Australia, Iran, Japan and New Zealand were the national teams in action and before travelling to Auckland, Australia leads the group with three victories out of three games. Japan is second with two wins, Iran has one triumph and New Zealand lost its three matches.

Going to the women’s World League, were played in Bochum (GER) and Madrid (ESP) the second tournaments of the European groups (after a first round of games in Athens, GRE, and Lille, FRA, on May 8-10). In Bochum, Greece and Russia confirmed their qualification for the Super Final, finishing at the top of the group, both with five wins and one loss each. Germany was third with a total of two victories and two defeats, while Great Britain lost all its six games.

In Madrid, things were also clear for Spain and Italy (the two qualified teams for the Super Final), with the Iberians finishing first of the group (six wins in six games) and the Italians second (four victories and two losses). France (two triumphs and four defeats) and South Africa (six losses) were third and fourth respectively.

Also in Adelaide (AUS), Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand played the first of the Asia/Oceania tournaments (like in the men’s competition, Auckland will host the second round of games, from May 29-31). The Australians were the strongest team in action, with three wins in three matches, followed by China (two victories, one loss), New Zealand (1-2) and Japan (three defeats).

In the men’s competition, the teams already qualified for the Super Final are Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia, South Africa and USA (are missing the first two teams of the Asia/Oceania group), while among women, Canada, Greece, Italy, Russia, Spain and USA (missing the two qualifiers from Asia/Oceania) are also selected for the Super Final.