Montenegro, Greece and Croatia secured this weekend in Rotterdam (NED) the last three Olympic berths up for grab at the FINA Men's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournamen
(February 14-21, 2021).
With no clear favourite for the victory, Montenegro ended up defeating the Hellenic squad 10-9 in the the gold match (2-3, 3-3, 1-2, 4-1). Despite the latter leading the first half of the game, it was the last quarter that made the difference for the Balkan team and turned the match in their favour.
In a dramatic match for the bronze medal and ultimate Olympic spot, Croatia stuned Russia 25-24 (4-3, 2-4, 3-1, 2-3) as the battle finished with penalties (14-13), a really tough end for the Russian players who narrolwy miss their Olympic ambition.
A total of 12 men teams will be competing in Tokyo as the above three squads join the already qualified nine teams, namely: Serbia (FINA Water Polo World League 2019 winner), Italy and Spain (18th FINA World Championships winner and runner-up), USA (Pan American Games 2019), Australia (Oceania), Hungary (European Championships 2020), South Africa (Africa), Kazakhstan (Asia), Japan (host).
The final ranking in Rotterdam was:
1. Montenegro, 2. Greece, 3. Croatia, 4. Russia, 5. Netherlands, 6. France, 7. Georgia, 8. Canada
Soon after the Olympic Qualification Tournament concluded in Rotterdam, the draws for the men’s and women’s Olympic tournaments were held and the groups were composed as follows:
Group A: Australia, South Africa, Netherlands, Spain, Canada
Group B: Russia, China, Hungary, United States, Japan
Group A: South Africa, United States, Hungary, Greece, Japan, Italy
Group B: Australia, Croatia, Serbia, Spain, Kazakhstan, Montenegro
All matches from Rotterdam are available on replay on FINAtv
, while day-by-day news reports can be read on FINA website
and photos / videos can be found on FINA social media channels. Results available here
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