- What: water polo
- Venue: Tatsumi Water Polo
- When: Saturday 24 July to Sunday 8 August
- Where to see it: Eurosport 1 & discovery + sport
- Dutch teams: women
- Favorites: Spain, USA, Netherlands (women), Italy, Hungary, Serbia (men)
What happened after Beijing?
Back in 2008. During the Beijing Games, women water polo surprised friends and foes by winning the Olympic gold medal. Under national coach Robin van Galen, the Netherlands defeated world champion after world champion and won the US final thanks to seven goals from Daniel De Bruyne and some decisive saves from goalkeeper Els van der Meyden.
Then there was silence around the women. Thanks to a loss to Italy in the playoffs in 2012, the women didn’t have a chance to defend their Olympic title, and things went wrong for Arno Havinga’s team in the run-up to the Rio Olympics four years later. During OKT in our country, she fell against Spain: 10-7
The road to Tokyo
After the team failed to qualify for a second time in 2016, the women were named in the following years. Led by Havinga, the Dutch national team became European champions for the first time in nearly thirty years during the European Championships in Barcelona in 2018. This good streak towards OKT continued at the beginning of this year in Trieste, Italy. Led by excellent goalkeeper Debbie Williams, who stopped working with the Dutch team two years ago due to motivational issues, and Maud Meggins scored on the assembly line, the Netherlands qualified for the OKT final and thus won a ticket to the Tokyo Games. .
National coach Arno Havinga directs the women’s water polo during the OKT in Triesteë
Photo: Getty Images
In addition to the Dutch team, which is one of the best in the world in international water polo, there are a number of other pirates on the coast. For example, the Netherlands will already compete in the group stage against Spain, the current European champions. The other three teams accompanying women’s water polo in Group A are South Africa, Australia and Canada. Three-time world champion America is in Group B along with Russia, China, Hungary and host Japan. The two best teams from each group qualify for the semi-finals.
Italian, Hungarian and Serbian men’s teams are the biggest contenders for Olympic gold in Tokyo. The Italian men became world champions in Gwangju, Korea, two years ago by beating Spain in the final. Hungary crowned themselves European champions at the beginning of last year by beating Spain in the final, just like the Italians. Serbia, Olympic champion and world number one, qualified for the Games by winning the International Football Association Championship (FINA) two years ago.
In the men’s tournament, the nations are divided into two groups of six countries each. World champions Italy and Hungary together in Group A. Serbia and Croatia, the current number one and two in the world standings, will face each other in Group B. They are joined by Spain, the current Vice World Champion and European Vice Champion.
- Monday 26th July 11:20 AM AST – Netherlands
- Wednesday 28 July 12:50 PM: Netherlands – Spain
- Friday 30 July 7:00 AM: South Africa – Netherlands
- Sunday August 1, 8:30 AM: Netherlands – Canada
- Tuesday August 3rd: Quarter-finals
- Thursday August 5: Semi-finals
- Saturday 7 August: Finals
Where are you looking?
A Discover + Sports subscription (including access to TLC and Discovery ID channels) costs €5.99 per month and on this platform you can stream every sport and every medal you win live during the Olympics. There’s also a daily Medal Zone swap program at Eurosport 1 so you don’t miss out on any of the action.
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