Olympic water polo draw announced
5th May 2012
British water polo players learned their Olympic fate as the draw for the group stages of the competition were made.
The men’s GB squad face a difficult opening week with their Group B competition in the form of Hungary, Montenegro, Romania, USA and Serbia.
Getting the chance to play against the very best teams in the world is what we train for.
Hungary, the gold medal winners from the past three Olympics, will be a formidable force to overcome and with 2008 silver medallists, the USA and bronze medal winners Serbia also in the mix, qualification to the finals stages will be tough.
Craig Figes, Captain of the British Water Polo Team said: “It’s a really tough draw. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania were the top three teams at the European Championships this year and Hungary have won the gold at the past three Olympic Games. Throw the USA into the mix and we certainly have a fight on our hands.
“Getting the chance to play against the very best teams in the world is what we train for; there is nothing better than playing against the very best. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to see how far we have come in the last few years and the challenge is one we will enjoy.”
Group A will see Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Spain, Australia and Croatia battle it out to make it through to the medal matches.
The top eight teams will progress from the group stages to the final week for the medal play offs.
The British women fared better with the luck of their draw. They will face Italy, Russia and Australia in group B. Group A will be Hungary, Spain, China and the USA.
Australia are one of the favourites to take the top spot at the Games, having won every tournament they have played in this year.
Fran Leighton, who captains the British Women’s team said: “All the games at the Olympics are going to be tough but we’re pleased to have a mixture of European teams as well as Australia.
“We’ve had the chance to play against Australia this week in London and know what we need to do to improve against them
“We’re going to Greece for the World League matches next week then we’ll be go back to Manchester and continue to train hard and focus on London 2012.
“After experiencing the fantastic support this week at the Water Polo Arena, we can’t wait to get back in July for the Games.”
All eight teams in the women’s competition will progress through to the second week to play through for the medal places.