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 final women’s water polo matches of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were held today, featuring the Gold medal match between the USA and Spain, and the Bronze medal match between Hungary and the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee). The USA emerged victorious against Spain, winning their 3rd-consecutive Olympic Gold in the event. Spain wins Silver, marking their 2nd women’s water polo medal ever. Hungary downed ROC in the Bronze match, winning the Bronze medal. That marks Hungary’s first-ever women’s water polo Olympic medal.
Gold Medal Match: USA vs Spain
In a lopsided Championship match, the firepower of the USA offense was able to keep the typically smothering Spanish defense at bay. The Americans jumped out to a 4-1 lead at the end of the 1st quarter, which they maintained in the 2nd quarter, heading into halftime up 7-4. The 2nd quarter would prove to be Spain’s best of the match, however, and the U.S. went up 12-4 in the 3rd quarter. The Americans ultimately won the match 14-5 for a massive victory, and the United States’ 3rd-consecutive Olympic Gold medal in women’s water polo.
In a surprising turn of events, Spain, who largely progressed through this 2-week tournament by winning low-scoring defensive battles, were completely outmatched on defense. The U.S. defense kept Spain to just 16% shooting efficiency (5/32). The American defense blocked nearly half of Spain’s shots (15 of 32) from even making it to the goalkeeper. Importantly, the US defense was able to block or deflect 7 of the 13 extra player shots that Spain took. displaying just how well the Americans played defense today.
Conversely, the U.S. continued to hum along on offense, shooting 54% efficiency. American goalkeepers Ashleigh Johnson and Amanda Longan combined to save 71% of the shots that came their way.
Bronze Medal Match: Hungary vs ROC
Hungary beat ROC 11-9 after a back-and-forth battle throughout the match.. The match was tied 2-2 at the end of the 1st quarter, then Hungary had a big 2nd quarter, outscoring ROC 5-3 to head into halftime up 7-5. ROC then punched back in the 3rd quarter, outscoring Hungary 3-0 to head into the 4th quarter up 8-7. Hungary had the final word, however, scoring 4 goals in the 4th quarter to ROC’s 1, which resulted in the 11-9 final score.
Hungarian starter Vanda Valyi was huge for his team. Playing 18 minutes, Valyi put up 3 shots during the match, scoring on all 3. Two of those goals came on extra player shots. Another starter, Natasa Rybanka, was only in for 4:50 of the match, but shot once and scored.
The Hungarian goalkeeper, Alda Magyari, also played a pivotal role in Hungary winning. Magyari saved 10 of the 19 shots that came her way, a 53% save rate. Compare that to ROC keeper Anna Karnaukh, who saved 6 of 16 shots, which is a 38% save rate.
ROC had a tough time shooting on the match, putting up only 29% shooting efficiency. They were, however, helped by Anastasia Simanovich coming off the bench to score 2 goals on 2 shots.
Outside the medal matches, there were matches for 5th-8th place. Australia bested Netherlands 14-7 in the 5th-6th match, while Canada beat China 16-7 in the 7th-8th match. With those results, here are the final standings for women’s water polo at the Tokyo Olympics:
- GOLD – USA
- SILVER – Spain
- BRONZE – Hungary
Saturday, August 7th Match Results:
Women’s Final Bracket: