2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
- When: Water Polo: Saturday, July 24 – Saturday, August 7, 2021
- Men’s Water Polo: Sunday, July, 25 – Sunday, August 8, 2021
- Where: Tatsumi International Swimming Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Full aquatics schedule
- What You Need to Know
- Stream on NBC Olympics
The Hungarian national water polo team handed the US women their first Olympic loss in 13 years. Hungary scored twice in the final minutes to pull ahead of the Americans and defeat them 10-9. Hungary was one of the two finals teams to have qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The last time the women’s national team lost an Olympic match was in the final in Beijing. They fell short of taking home the gold medal when they lost 8-9 to the Netherlands. The US had the longest winning streak in women’s water polo history with 12 consecutive victories. The last game they failed to win was during a tied game against Spain at the 2012 London Games.
Australia and Spain Top Group ‘A’
Australia and Spain are tied as the leaders of Group ‘A’ even though Australia has played one less match. This is in part thanks to Spain’s loss to the Netherlands today. The Dutch women handed Spain its first loss, beating them 14-13. The game was a thriller from beginning to end. Spain led 3-2 after the first quarter, but the Netherlands tied it up at the half. The Dutch women pulled ahead during the third quarter and kept their 1 point lead through the final whistle.
Spain’s Elena Ruiz tied the match on an extra player shot with one minute remaining in the game. It was met by Sabrina van der Sloot’s extra player goal 30 seconds later. Ruiz had a final attempt with three seconds on the clock but it was blocked.
Along with Hungary, the Netherlands was the final team selected to play at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The next match will be a tough one for each team, as they will be playing each other on Friday. If Australia wins, they will take over as the top team in Group ‘A’, while a Spanish win would put them back at #1.
USA Still Leads Group ‘B’
The US women’s water polo team lost 9-10 to Hungary during Wednesday’s match. The teams were tied after the first quarter and at the half. The US pulled ahead, leading Hungary 8-6 with one quarter to go. Hungary tied the game late in the fourth quarter and scored the game-winning goal with 45 seconds left on the clock.
Madeline Musselman attempted an extra player shot that could have pulled the US ahead, but it hit the post and was recovered by Hungary’s Dora Leimeter.
The only other Group ‘B’ matchup was between China and Japan, where China defeated Japan 16-11. Jing Zhang led the Chinese team in goals scored, finding the back of the net on 5 of her 6 attempts. Chinese goalkeeper Yineng Shen also played well for the team, blocking 45% of Japan’s shots.
The two countries sit at the bottom of the Group ‘B’ standings and risk being eliminated from the tournament.
GROUP A STANDINGS:
GROUP B STANDINGS:
Even with a loss, the US can move out of the group stage and remain in contention for a third consecutive gold medal. The American women will play their next game on Friday when they will take on the Russian Olympic Committee. A win would result in them remaining at the top of the Group B standings.
Leading Goal Scorers:
- Anna Espar Llaquet (ESP) / Jing Zhang (CHN) – 10
- Bea Ortiz (ESP) – 9
- Ekaterina Prokofyeva (ROC) / Elena Ruiz (ESP) / Simone van de Kraats (NED) – 8
Leading Goalkeepers (% Blocked):
- Clara Vulpisi (CAN) – 89%
- Lea Yanitsas (AUS) – 72%
- Ashleigh Johnson (USA) – 60%
- Claire Wright (CAN) – 49%
- Yineng Shen (CHN) – 43%
- Alda Magyari (HUN) – 42%