After winning their respective quarter-final game during the FINA Men’s Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, the teams of Hungary, Spain, France and Italy complete the list of the national squads competing in Rio 2016. In a thrilling sixth day of competition in Trieste (ITA), all the four matches were decided by the minimal difference of one goal.
In the first encounter of the session, Hungary defeated Germany by 8-7, in a game quite difficult for the Magyars in the last quarter. Despite losing by 7-3 at the end of the third period, the Germans didn’t give up and managed to achieve a final 4-1. Bukowski scored the last goal for Germany with 2:25 to go, but it wasn’t enough and the result remained unchanged until the final whistle.
What followed was exactly the same: Spain was winning by 7-3 at the end of the third quarter and almost allowed the return of Canada in the last period. Despite a final 4-1 effort for the North Americans, the 8-7 outcome for the Iberians also assures their participation in the Olympics.
A true revelation of the tournament, France managed to defeat the Netherlands by a close 12-11, after a dramatic penalty shootout session. At the end of the regular time, both teams were tied at 8-8, but France appeared calmer in the penalty session, scoring a final 4-3.
Finally, the Trieste venue almost came down with the victory of Italy over Romania by 8-7. It was a dramatic match, tied at 7-7 almost until the final whistle. With seven seconds to go, and benefitting from an extra-man situation, Figlioli scored the eighth goal for the hosts, sealing the final outcome of the game and ensuring the qualification of Italy.
With the qualification of these four teams, the men’s Olympic tournament in Rio will include the following 12 squads: Australia, Brazil, Croatia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Serbia, Spain andUSA.
The draw for both the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Tournaments will be held on Sunday (April 10), also in Trieste (ITA) immediately after the conclusion of this Qualification Tournament.
Swimming news courtesy of FINA.