The team of Serbia won the 2015 edition of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships, held in Almaty (KAZ), from September 4-12. At the conclusion of the 18-team tournament, played by competitors under 20 years of age, the Balkan squad beat Italy in the final of the competition by a tangential 13-12. The bronze medal went to Hungary, after triumphing in the decisive penalty shootout against Greece, also by 13-12.
Gavril Subotic and Drasko Gogov, both with five goals, were the men of the final and the most successful scorers for Serbia in their encounter with Italy, who had in Roberto Ravina and Vincenze Dolce (four goals each), their main assets of the match.
Subotic was elected the Most Valuable Player of the competition, while Serbia’s goalkeeper Lazar Dobozanov was also considered the best player of the tournament in this position. The best scorer of the championships was Kirill Rustamov, from Uzbekistan, with 55 goals.
Serbia had won the gold in 2011 and was third two years ago, while Italy was the reigning champion before Almaty’s final.
In the bronze-medal match, Greece and Hungary were tied at 9-9 at the end of the regular time, and even at 12-12 after the first series of penalties. In sudden death action, Soma Vogel, the Magyar goalkeeper stopped one of Greek’s throws and his compatriot Gergo Zalanki converted the decisive penalty shot for a final 13-12. In recent years, Hungary was in the winner in 2007, while the Hellenic squad was the gold medallist in the 2001 edition.
Concerning places 5-8, Spain had no problems in beating Montenegro (14-9) for the fifth spot, while Croatia was better than Australia (14-10) and finished the tournament in seventh.
The final ranking of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships 2015 is as follows:
1. SERBIA; 2. ITALY; 3. HUNGARY; 4. Greece; 5. Spain; 6. Montenegro; 7. Croatia; 8. Australia; 9. Kazakhstan; 10. Egypt; 11. Netherlands; 12. Mexico; 13. Japan; 14. Canada; 15. China; 16. Uzbekistan; 17. Iran; 18. South Africa.
Swimming news courtesy of FINA.