Tokyo 2020 Men’s Water Polo: Serbia Downs Greece For 2nd-Straight Olympic Gold


The finals of men’s water polo in Tokyo took place today, with Serbia and Hungary emerging victorious in their matches.

Gold Medal Match: Serbia vs Greece

In a pretty tight championship match, Serbia put together an excellent 4th quarter to put Greece away by a final score of 13-10. Serbia wins the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Gold medal, while Greece earns Silver. With the win, Serbia has won their 5th Olympic men’s water polo medal, and their 2nd consecutive Gold. Serbia won Silver in 2004, Bronze in 2008, Bronze in 2012, and Gold in 2016. On the other hand, Greece won their first Olympic medal in the event today.

The Greek squad took 2 more shots than Serbia did today, but Serbia’s efficiency was considerably higher. Serbia shot on 45% efficiency in today’s match, outpacing the 32% efficiency produced by the Greek team.

Serbia’s defense also outplayed Greece’s. The Serbian defense blocked or deflected 13 of Greece’s shots, lessening the load on their goalkeeper. Conversely, Greece’s defense only stopped 8 Serbian shots from getting to their keeper. In a tight match, as this was until the 4th quarter, those are the statistics that make a big difference.

Another critical stat category is the extra player shots. Especially in close matches, it’s important that teams capitalize on the time they have in which the other team is down a player. In today’s match, Serbia did a much better job of of taking advantage of their extra player time. Serbia scored 6 goals on 9 extra player shots, for a 66.6% efficiency on those shots. Greece, on the other hand, scored 5 goals on 16 extra player shots, just 31% efficiency.

Bronze Medal Match: Hungary vs Spain

Just like the Gold medal match, Hungary and Spain played in a highly contested Bronze medal match, up until the 4th quarter. The teams were tied 5-5 at halftime, but Hungary shut Spain out in the 2nd half, and the match ended with Hungary winning by a score of 9-5.

Hungary has been one of the most dominant countries for men’s water polo historically. Today’s Bronze medal marks their 16th Olympic medal in the event. However, this medal also marks Hungary’s first Olympic medal in men’s water polo since 2008. That 2008 medal was Gold, and was the end of a streak by Hungary, in which they won Olympic Gold in 2000. 2004, and 2008. In total, Hungary has won 9 Gold medals, 3 Silver medals, and 4 Bronze medals.

In today’s match, Hungary and Spain took the same number of shots – 29. Hungary scored on 9 of those shots for 31% shooting efficiency, while Spain scored on 5, for 17% efficiency. Very similarly to the Gold medal match, Hungary did a much better job of capitalizing on their extra player shots. Hungary only took 6 extra player shots during the match, but they were perfect, scoring on all 6. Spain, however, took 15 extra player shots, only scoring on 5. That mean’s all of Spain’s goals scored were when Hungary was down a player, but they only shot 33% on extra player shots.

Hungarian goalkeeper Viktor Nagy had a somewhat lowkey match, not because of how he played, but because of how few shots came his way. Spain only got 13 shots on Nagy, who saved 8 of them, for a 62% save percentage.

In the non-medal matches, Croatia defeated the USA 14-11 in the 5th-6th classification match. Italy also bested Montenegro in the 7th-8th classification match.

Here are the final Tokyo 2020 men’s Water Polo standings:

  1. Serbia (GOLD)
  2. Greece (SILVER)
  3. Hungary (BRONZE)
  4. Spain
  5. Croatia
  6. USA
  7. Italy
  8. Montenegro

Sunday, August 8th Match Results:

Final Men’s Bracket:


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