Great Britain’s women to compete at 2024 World Aquatics Championships

Great Britain’s women’s water polo team will be returning to the sport’s global stage for the first time in more than a decade next month as they gear up for the 2024 World Aquatics Championships.

Their memorable journey at the European Water Polo Championships in Eindhoven secured their spot at the World Championships in Doha after a thrilling 11-9 victory over Croatia ensured a seventh place finish.

A final quarter turnaround saw Great Britain go from 7-9 down to record an 11-9 victory, meaning they finished as one of the top three finishers outside of those that had already qualified for the Worlds to secure the final spot in Doha.

It means a British water polo outfit will contest World Championships fixtures for the first time since 2013, with Nick Buller’s team drawn into Group D against 2023 bronze medallists Italy, South Africa and Canada – who were in their group in Barcelona 11 years ago.

That first official return to the World Championship pool will take place on Sunday 4th February, when GB face off with the Italians at the Aspire Dome, in what will be another momentous step for a team progressing at an impressive rate back towards the top levels of the sport.

‘They deserve their chance’

Reflecting on Britain’s outstanding displays at the European Championships, and the prospect of their return to a World Championship competition, Swim England Water Polo Programme Lead Craig Figes said: “The return of a GB team to the World Championships in Doha is fantastic for the sport of water polo in the UK, 11 years on from our last appearance at that level.

“The hard work of this squad, players and staff has led to the biggest buzz around water polo since London 2012.

“Their performances at the recent European Championships were outstanding, and they deserve their chance to compete at the Worlds in Doha – and I hope this is the start of a really positive era for British water polo.”

The GB team – captained by Kathy Rodgers – claimed a 100% record in Group D to kickstart their European Championships campaign, thanks to wins against Slovakia, Bulgaria and Germany.

They then went on to claim a memorable penalty shootout victory against Israel which secured a top eight finish and a place in the quarter-finals where they lost out to reigning world and European champions the Netherlands.

A defeat to Olympic bronze medallists Hungary followed in their first classification game before they bounced back in that crucial match with Croatia to finish seventh.

Centre forward Toula Falvey finished as GB’s top scorer with 16 goals – that saw her finish joint sixth in the scoring charts. Lily Turner notched 14 across the competition, including four in that win against Croatia whilst skipper Rogers scored 11 times in the teams seven matches.

They’re now set to make more history as they head to Doha on the back of the nation’s joint second best ever finish at a European Championships.