After a bronze and two silvers, Spain is going for gold
A busy summer of outstanding age-group events is about to close with the usual meets: after the individual disciplines, Europe’s best junior water polo players clash for the titles. First it’s the women’s turn, their tournament kicks off in Novi Sad (SRB) on Sunday.
As usual in odd years, the U17 Europeans are held for both genders. The previous edition was staged in the frame of the 1st European Games in Baku and saw the first Russian triumph – the previous two titles went to Greece who then came third in 2015. Besides them, Spain claimed three medals in the past three tourneys, a bronze than two silvers, they are eager to go for the gold this time.
While the Spaniards face an easy cruise in the group, just as the Italians, the first phase will already be exciting for Russia who has a tough contest with Hungary and the game between Greece and the Netherlands also promises some thrills. Here the losers – or the ones finishing second – can prepare for a tough quarter-final, against Italy or Spain (as the latter two seem a sure bet for finishing atop in their respective groups and qualify directly for the QFs).
The event takes place in Serbia, the country which is eager to stage international tournaments (they already had one this summer, the men’s junior Worlds in Belgrade). As LEN President Paolo Barelli wrote in his welcome message, “Of course, Serbia is famous for its men teams’ success but we already witnessed at the European Championships in January 2016 how lovingly the crowds approached the female team’s efforts and by the end of that outstanding tournament the fans were engaged by women’s water polo as well. Now our Serbian friends take another step forward to promote this side of the sport by staging the Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championships.” Regarding the choice of the host city, the President added “It’s also great to involve more and more cities so after organising various tournaments in the well-established Belgrade venues, this event takes place in Novi Sad.”
The showcase begins on Sunday and will conclude next Saturday. LEN shall provide its already popular live-score system during the entire tournament, you just have to visit www.len.eu and click on the event’s logo to find the scores and the detailed statistics.
Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championships – The Groups
Italy, France, Serbia, Czech Republic
Spain, Israel, Slovakia, Turkey
Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Portugal
Greece, Netherlands, Romania, Great Britain