Olympic Results Digest: American Women, Serbian Men Defend Water Polo Golds

2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

In our final edition of Olympic Results Digest, giving you a quick encyclopedia-esque look at the results from all of the aquatic disciplines in Tokyo, it’s time to give water polo its due.

Both gold medal-winning teams from Rio defended their titles in Tokyo, with the United States women outscoring their opponents 45-21 in the knockout stage for a third straight Olympic gold while the Serbian men won a second consecutive title with a string of hard-fought victories.

Other Olympic Results Digests:

Women’s Tournament

The American women were the undisputed favorites after going undefeated at three straight major championships (2016 Olympics, 2017 & 2019 World Championships), and although that streak was ended in Tokyo, they still retained the gold in dominant fashion.

The U.S. opened with a 25-4 shellacking of host Japan, and then after a 12-7 win over China, lost a nailbiter to the Hungarians, 10-9. They would close out the preliminary round with an 18-5 win over ROC.

Spain set the pace in the other group, finishing with the same record as the U.S. (three wins, no draws, one loss) and a similar goal differential thanks to a 29-4 win over South Africa.

The U.S. walked through Canada (16-5) and the ROC (15-11) to reach the gold medal match, while the Spaniards topped China (11-7) and Hungary (8-6).

In the end the final was never close, as the Americans opened up a 4-1 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, ultimately winning 14-5 for the gold.

The bronze medal match saw the Hungarians win 11-9 over ROC for back-to-back third-place finishes.

GROUP ‘A’ STANDINGS

Country GP W D L GF GA GD Pts
Spain* 4 3 0 1 71 37 34 6
Australia* 4 3 0 1 46 33 13 6
Netherlands* 4 3 0 1 75 41 34 6
Canada* 4 1 0 3 48 39 9 2
South Africa 4 0 0 4 7 97 −90 0

GROUP ‘B’ STANDINGS

Rank Country GP W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 United States* 4 3 0 1 64 26 38 6
2 Hungary* 4 2 1 1 46 43 3 5
3 ROC* 4 2 1 1 53 61 −8 5
4 China* 4 2 0 2 51 50 1 4
5 Japan 4 0 0 4 44 78 −34 0

*Qualified for quarterfinals

KNOCKOUT STAGE

Quarter-finals
Spain 11
China 7
Netherlands 11
Hungary 14
Australia 8
ROC 9
Canada 5
United States 16
Semi-finals
Spain 8
Hungary 6
ROC 11
United States 15
Bronze Medal
Hungary 11
ROC 9
Gold Medal
Spain 5
United States 14

FINAL STANDINGS

Note: countries play additional “classification” games for rankings 5-8.

Rank Country
1 United States
2 Spain
3 Hungary
4 ROC
5 Australia
6 Netherlands
7 Canada
8 China
9 Japan
10 South Africa

Men’s Tournament

Spain emerged as the team to beat in the men’s tournament through the group stage, compiling a perfect 5-0 record that included wins over Group ‘B’ foes Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro—the first, second and fourth-place finishers at the 2016 Olympics.

Group ‘A’ was led by Greece, with the team putting up four victories and one draw, which came against the 2019 world champion Italians. Italy also tied with Hungary, but the Greeks had topped the Hungarians, 10-9, on the first day of competition to sit atop the standings heading to the knockout stage.

Hungary then knocked out the 2016 Olympic silver medalists from Croatia in the quarter-finals, and the defending Olympic champs from Serbia upended the reigning world champion Italians. Spain beat the U.S. and Greece beat Montenegro, setting up four powerhouse nations for an epic clash in the semis.

Greece pulled away late to beat Hungary, 9-6, while the Serbians came back from a two-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to take down the undefeated Spanish team, 10-9.

In the final, Serbia had five players score two or more goals as they defended their Olympic title with a 13-10 win over the Greeks, while the Hungarians ousted Spain, 9-5, for the bronze.

GROUP ‘A’ STANDINGS

Rank Country GP W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Greece* 5 4 1 0 68 34 34 9
2 Italy* 5 3 2 0 60 32 28 8
3 Hungary* 5 3 1 1 64 35 29 7
4 United States* 5 2 0 3 59 53 6 4
5 Japan 5 1 0 4 65 66 −1 2
6 South Africa 5 0 0 5 20 116 −96 0

GROUP ‘B’ STANDINGS

Rank Country GP W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Spain* 5 5 0 0 61 31 30 10
2 Croatia* 5 3 0 2 62 46 16 6
3 Serbia* 5 3 0 2 70 46 24 6
4 Montenegro* 5 2 0 3 54 56 −2 4
5 Australia 5 2 0 3 49 60 −11 4
6 Kazakhstan 5 0 0 5 35 92 −57 0

*Qualified for quarterfinals

KNOCKOUT STAGE

Quarter-finals
Greece 10
Montenegro 4
Croatia 11
Hungary 15
Italy 6
Serbia 10
Spain 12
United States 8
Semi-finals
Greece 9
Hungary 6
Serbia 10
Spain 9
Bronze Medal
Hungary 9
Spain 5
Gold Medal
Greece 10
Serbia 13

FINAL STANDINGS

Note: countries play additional “classification” games for rankings 5-8.

Rank Country
1 Serbia
2 Greece
3 Hungary
4 Spain
5 Croatia
6 United States
7 Italy
8 Montenegro
9 Australia
10 Japan
11 Kazakhstan
12 South Africa

1
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

1 Comment
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
1 year ago

It has been now confirmed, Maggie Steffens is a legend.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »