Montenegro, Egypt, Hungary and Georgia (male) and Greece, Czech Republic, South Africa and Zimbabwe (female) have secured their qualification to the Beach Water Polo tournament at the 2nd ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023. The teams finished top four in the World Aquatics Festival tournament in Somabay/Egypt, valid as qualifier for the AWBG.
“It’s a difficult match, it’s difficult to play against Egypt in their pool, in front of their fans. We can see the results they’ve had in this tournament, it’s really hard to beat to them”, said Montenegrin Stefan Porobic after the 15-14 penalty shootout win over Egypt.
“Of course, it was a very tough game. Unfortunately for us, Montenegro could catch up to our score right at the end with a final goal to bring the match to a penalty shootout. In the shootout, our goalkeeper could stop their first three shots, but we didn’t convert any of our last one-on-one shots. Congratulations to Montenegro. Now, we’re focused on making even better results in Bali”, commented Egyptian Ahmed Elsapagh,
Among the women, Greece beat 13-9 Czech Republic in the final.
“The Czech team was really good today, they brought their best. Eventually, though, we found a way and now we’re on our way to Bali for the World Beach Games”, says Alexandra Kalaitzi, from Greece.
Czech Karolina Hlavata is enjoying Beach Water Polo as much as the chance to compete at the 2nd ANOC World Beach Games in Bali in August.
“Beach Water Polo is much faster and therefore much better for spectators as well as well as for the players with lots of goals, lots of exclusions. It’s way more fun than the normal water polo. I know I should not say that, but it’s true!”, comments Hlavata. “It’s great playing for the first time at the beach is nice. It was a tough match, but we qualified here for the World Beach Games in Bali”, she adds.
Dayna Bond, from Zimbabwe, was the top scorer in the female’s tournament and expects to be back stronger with her team to Bali:
“I’m proud of myself, but I’m also proud of my team because I couldn’t have done it without my team. Obviously, water polo is a very team-oriented sport and I managed to capitalise on all my team’s hard work. We’re going to take motivation from this and come back even harder in Bali. We’ve got three months. We’ll get there”.
The teams qualified during the World Aquatics festival in Egypt last weekend will join the following National Olympic Committees in the Beach Water Polo Tournament in Bali:
Men: Spain, Italy, Greece, Puerto Rico and Croatia
Women: Hungary, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Spain, China, Italy
Have a look at ANOC.tv to watch the action in Somabay for Beach Water Polo