Rio Roundup: Blowouts Abound In Opening Women’s Water Polo Rounds

2016 Rio Olympic Games

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Maria Lenk Aquatics Center/Olympic Aquatics Stadium
  • Sunday, August 6 – Sunday, August 20
  • Schedule & Results

The round robin portion of the women’s water polo tournament kicked off Tuesday, with defending gold medalists Team USA beating 2012 silver medalists Spain. Italy and Australia also won in blowouts.

Group A

In group A, 2012 bronze medalists Australia crushed Russia by the day’s widest winning margin. Australia won 14-4, jumping out to a 3-0 lead just 5 minutes into the match and scoring 6 unanswered goals before Russia even got on the board. Ash Southern led with 4 total goals.

Meanwhile Italy trounced the home nation of Brazil, holding the hosts to just 3 goals in the day’s best defensive showing. Keeper Giulia Gorlero had 11 saves and Roberta Bianconi chipped in 3 goals to power a 9-3 win. Italy and Australia now sit tied for the Group A lead and will face off head-to-head on Thursday.


1. Italy – 2
1. Australia – 2
3. Russia – 0
3. Brazil – 0

Group B

Group B featured a gold medal round rematch from 2012, with the U.S. taking on Spain. We covered the match more in-depth here, but a balanced U.S. effort saw Maggie Steffens, Courtney Mathewson and Kiley Neushul each score a pair of goals, and Ashleigh Johnson keyed a shutout 4th quarter in goal to cap a dominant 11-4 victory.

The only close match of opening day came between China and Hungary in Group B. Hungary, last year’s 4th-place finishers, nabbed a 13-11 win on a huge 3rd quarter from Dora Czigany.

It was a very even match for almost three full quarters. Hungary actually trailed 6-7 early in the 3rd, but rattled off five consecutive scores over about a 5-minute period, three of them from Czigany. China finally stopped the flow with a goal of their own to make it 11-8, but Czigany answered right back with her 4th goal of the quarter. From there, Hungary held on for a 13-11 victory.


1. USA – 2
2. Hungary – 2
3. China – 0
3. Spain – 0

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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