Gwangju, tournament full of surprises, spoils and successes which kept the water polo enthusiast on the edge if their seat. 32 teams challenged each other for two weeks, the deserved winners were crowned in the USA and Italy. The flawless event with organisers from behind the scenes, to the front of house, having to be complimented in staging yet another World Championships to remember!
Australia was one of the nations that have put the world on notice, as far as combined placings are concerned, finishing 4th overall.
Final Placings: 1st Spain 2nd Italy 3rd Hungary 4th Australia
Aussie 'Stingers' found their confidence again, playing with flare and much exuberance, showing the world that they are back to where they should be - on the podium!
The Aussie 'Sharks' under Elvis Fatović, had the ability to win the tournament. Their team has 'no weak link' anymore, as all players from 1-13 showed they were not afraid to mix it with the best of the best.
Can the Sharks finish on the podium in Tokyo? - Bloody oath they can!
Women's waterpolo is trying figure out how the hell do we get close to Adam Krikorian and his 'USA Tsunami', which destroys anything in it's path? For the men the Serbian's are the team to beat in Tokyo, as they rested a large majority of their top players for Gwangju. Deservedly so, as some haven't had a waterpolo free summer in a very long time.
New rules are allowing nations like Spain and Italy to thrive as their mobile, quick thinking game, is certainly suiting the evolution.
The surprise packet was Greece, with not living up to expectations. Put this down to bad timing, as their Men's and Women's team certainly don't deserve to be in the lower echelons.
Tokyo, with the same rules as Gwangju, will certainly challenge teams, only being allowed to play with eleven players!
This will be interesting from a foul perspective, as too will player management over a two week competition!
By Simon Daley academywaterpolo