Russia comes first again, after six years
Russia clinched the title at the women’s European Junior Water Polo Championships in Sibenik, beating Greece in the final. They returned to the top of the podium after 2015. Hungary claimed bronze by downing Italy.
Russia went all the way winning 7/7 matches, all but one with at least a 4- goal gap. Their closest contest came in the semis against Hungary, but they prevailed 11-9 after building a 4-goal lead twice in the second half and the Magyars could just halve that till the end. In the final, Greece could hold on till halftime (3-2), then the Russians started rolling, produced a 5-1 run in the third and the Greeks could only score some consolation goals after 10-3 to come back to 12-8.
The Greeks played a brilliant semi-final against Italy where they led 6-4 early in the third but the Italians replied with three in a row to go 6-7 up before the last break. But they could not add any more in the last 10:36 minutes while the Greeks staged a 3-0 rush in the fourth to make the final once again after 2013.
The Italians did some heroics in the quarters by ousting 2017-2019 champion Spain in a thriller, scored the last two including the winner 16 seconds from time (11-10). However, they ran out of gas for the last day. In the bronze medal match they could come back from 6-2 to 8-6 against Hungary but four more goals in a row from the Magyars put an end to the contest (12-9).
Final rankings 1. Russia, 2. Greece, 3. Hungary, 4. Italy, 5. Netherlands, 6. Spain, 7. Croatia, 8. Israel, 9. France, 10. Germany, 11. Serbia, 12. Slovakia, 13. Ukraine, 14. Czech Republic, 15. Malta, 16. Bulgaria, 17. Great Britain, 18. Romania, 19. Turkey.