Greece imposed itself this weekend in Debrecen (HUNGARY) on the occasion of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League 2020 (from January 8-10, 2021) as it won the European preliminary tournament.
Coached by Theodoros Vlachos, Greece beat the balkan powerhouse Montenegro with ease for a final score of 12-7 (3-2, 4-1, 4-3, 1-1).
Alessandro Campagna’s Italy were the third team to secure a spot to the Super Final after winning a very tight game against Spain 9-8 (2-2, 0-2, 3-1, 4-3), which reminded of the FINA Water Polo World Championships 2019 final.
Therefore, Greece, Montenegro – coached by Vladimir Gojković – and Italy are the European squads to advance to the FINA World League Super Final to be held from June 26- July 2, 2021 (in Tbilisi, Georgia) and will be joined by the best teams of the InterContinental Cup which will be played in Indianapolis (USA) from April 26- May 2, 2021.
In the game for 5-6th place in Debrecen, Serbia defeated Hungary 9-7 (2-1, 2-2, 1-2, 4-2), while Croatia beat France 17-5 for the 7th place (4-0, 4-1, 5-2, 4-2).
Final standings of the Men’s European Water Polo World League preliminaries in Debrecen (HUNGARY):
1. Greece, 2. Montenegro, 3. Italy, 4. Spain, 5. Serbia, 6. Hungary, 7. Croatia, 8. France.
The Women’s European Water Polo World League preliminaries will resume on February 2 for the Game Day #5 in various European cities.
FINA and the Hungarian Water Polo Federation have closely collaborated to impose a very strict and rigorous COVID-19 protocol and create a safe bubble which have proven to be highly successful, as all sanitary measures implemented by FINA were respected.
Every member of each team (athletes and officials) were tested upon arrival and during the competition. Over 1000 COVID-19 tests were conducted with no positive cases among all samples.
FINA recognises and appreciates the full support from all participating teams in respecting these challenging, yet necessary conditions.
The tournament in Debrecen marked the official return to competition, being the first FINA event held since March 2020.
The upcoming two major Water Polo competitions will take place in Trieste (ITA), from January 19-24 – the FINA Women’s Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament -, and in Rotterdam (NED), from February 14-21 – the FINA Men’s Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament.