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World beckons British Water Polo

12 May 2011

The 14 athletes selected to represent the British Women’s Water Polo Team, powered by British Gas, will embark on their 2011 FINA World League campaign this weekend as they aim for a spot among the world’s elite.

Taking place in Barcelona, from 13th-15th May the team will face a tough draw with former world champions Hungary, Olympic silver medallists Greece and 2008 European silver medallists Spain all looking to take the coveted top spots.

The World League is the premier event in Water Polo outside of the World Championships and Olympic Games and represents an excellent opportunity for the British team to get more world class experience ahead of London 2012.

Having recently played against the Spanish team in a European qualification match, the Brits know they will face tough competition but are determined to turn the result around.

“We’re going into the matches looking to have some good quality close games,” said team captain Fran Leighton.

“Obviously we gained lots of confidence when we played Spain the other week so it will be a case of putting everything that we learnt into practice, but we respect the abilities of these teams and we know we won’t get anything easily.

“Any mistake we make is going to be penalised so we just have to focus on playing the best that we can.”

Last year’s competition saw Great Britain secure some of their best ever results beating both Germany and Italy in the preliminary rounds, but failed to qualify through to the Super Final.

Following the Barcelona leg the team will head to Athens for the second round of the preliminary stage where they will face each team once more from 20th-22nd May to determine the final table standings.

The top two teams in the group will qualify through to the 2011 FINA World League Super Final, which takes place from 14-19th June in Tianjin, China. There they will join the best teams from the Americas and Asia-Oceania in an eight-team play-off to be crowned winners.

Match schedule

Friday,  13 May 2011
GREECE v GREAT BRITAIN

Saturday, 14 May 2011
GREAT BRITAIN v HUNGARY

Sunday, 15 May 2011
SPAIN v GREAT BRITAIN

Friday,  20 May 2011
SPAIN v GREAT BRITAIN

Saturday, 21 May 2011
GREECE v GREAT BRITAIN

Sunday, 22 May 2011
GREAT BRITAIN V HUNGARY

The athletes selected to represent the British Women’s Water Polo Team, powered by British Gas, are:
Rosie Morris
Robyn Nicholls
Fiona McCann
Frankie Snell
Claire Nixon
Angie Winstanley-Smith
Fran Leighton
Vicki Bowen
Alex Rutlidge
Beckie Kershaw
Ciara Gibson-Byrne
Chloe Wilcox
Fran Clayton
Rachel Drabble

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