Team USA clinched its 13th FINA Water Polo World League crown on Sunday June 9 in Budapest, Hungary, defeating strong contender Italy. It was the fourth time these two teams have met in the gold medal match of the Super Final (previously in 2006, 2011, 2014).
The American powerhouse, also current Olympic and World title holder, narrowly beat Rio 2016 silver medallists Italy 10-9 for the gold medal with a tie in the first and the last quarters (2-2, 1-2, 4-2, 3-3).
In Rio, USA triumphed over Italy 12-5 (4–1, 1–2, 4–1, 3–1) to record the biggest winning margin in a women’s Olympic final, so it appears the gap is narrowing between Europe and America ahead of next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Earlier, Russia claimed the bronze medal against the Netherlands 7 – 10 (2-3, 2-1, 2-4, 1-2), while the host nation secured the sixth position, losing to Australia 7-12 (3-2, 2-3, 0-3, 2-4).
1. USA, 2. Italy, 3. Russia, 4. Netherlands, 5. Australia , 6. Hungary, 7. Canada, 8. China
Best Goalkeeper: Laura Aarts (NED)
Highest Scorer: Maud Megens (NED) & Rita Keszthelyi (HUN) 17 goals
Most Valuable Player: Maddie Musselman (USA)
You can read detailed game reports on FINA website.
As a reminder, last year’s Super Final ranking was as follows:
1. USA, 2. Netherlands, 3. Russia, 4. Canada, 5. Spain, 6. China, 7. Australia, 8. Japan
The men will play their Super Final from June 18-23 in Belgrade, Serbia. The teams qualified are:
Group A: Hungary, Japan, Canada, Spain
Group B: Australia, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Serbia