Category Archives: Aquatic Sports

2018 FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup: Host Germany Defeat World Silver Medallist Hungary

Group B

Victory for Serbia

Serbia opened the FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup in Berlin with a goal festival. In the first match of Group B, the Olympic Champion outclassed the World Championships 16th South Africa 21:3 (4:1, 5:0, 7:0, 5:2). After just 47 seconds, Gavril Subotic scored for the first time. With six goals, the 22-year-old was also named the most successful shooter of the opening match, which was decided after the first quarter and peppered by hits in the minute.

For Serbia, four goals were scored by Nemanja Vico, while captain Dusan Mandic and Ognjen Stojanovic scored three times, Mateja Asanovic and Strahinja Rasovic scored twice while Dorde Lazic scored once. For outsider South Africa, Mark Spencer scored twice and Donn Stewart once.

Croatia prevails against the USA

In the second match of Group B, World Champion Croatia defeated the tenth of the Olympic Games USA with 15:10 (3:2, 4:2, 3:3, 5:3), but they had some difficulties. After a well-balanced first quarter, the Croatians had the lead with three goals however, lost their competitive advantage during the middle of the third quarter as the US-team caught up to a close 6:7.

With several goals within only a minute and a half, the favourite increased their lead and pulled away just before the last break and was unbeatable from there on. Top-scorer of the Croatian team was Ante Vukicevic with four goals, for the United States Alex Bowen scored three times.

Group A

Japan was defeated by Australia

In the first match of Group A, the seventh of the World Championships Australia did not waste any time against the tenth of the World Championships Japan and won confidently with 14:6 (3:0, 5:0, 5:5, 3:1). The Australians survived the first two quarters even with a clean sheet and led to the half of the game already with a sovereign 8:0. Captain Aaron Younger impressed with a remarkable strike-rate of 100% by scoring four out of four chances. On the other hand, Atsushi Arai was the most successful shooter with three goals for Japan.

Germany defeats runner-up to the World Champion Hungary

What a kick-off to the host: Facing the second place of the World Championships Hungary, the team of national coach Hagen Stamm managed the big surprise of the day. With the 12:10 success (1:2, 3:4, 4:2, 4:2), the German team turned up the heat at the Europasportpark (SSE) in Berlin and their spectators were chanting with them. They managed to finish the game in victory after lagging behind 4:6 after the first two quarters.

“There are 100 days of hard work behind us, including the European Championship and now the next tournament,” said German national coach Hagen Stamm. “The boys are just worth it and really deserve it today. The effort payed off and the audience was really terrific today. ”

At the beginning of the third quarter, the Hungarians even moved ahead to 7:4, but then the Germans turned the tables and started with a 8:8 tie in the last break. At the score of 9:9, the German team turned their power up even more with scores from Ben Reibel, Julian Real and again Reibel to 12:9 – the victory was clear.

Best scorers from the German point of view were Ben Reibel and Julian Real with three goals each, for Hungary Bence Batori also scored three times.



With less than 10 days to go to the inaugural leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018, many swimming legends have shown interested in one of the most important events of the discipline.

With room for more entries, Russia’s Kirill Prigoda has confirmed his attendance to all seven stops of the World Cup, while Olympic bronze medallist and current World Record holder Vladimir Morozov and Olympic silver and bronze medallist as well as World champion Yuliya Efimova are amongst the other home nation athletes registered for Kazan.

While last year’s overall Series winners Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) and Chad Le Clos (RSA) are ready to make the headlines again, the famous Iron Lady of Hungary, Katinka Hosszu, who is a veteran of the World Cup is also set to take the plunge at the Kazan Aquatics Palace from September 7-9. Compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos and David Verraszto will also be there.

China will be represented by, but not only, Yifan Yang, Yuhang Wu and Zhiaho Zhang.

The U.S. delegation will be led by short-course World champion Michael Andrew.

Australia’s accomplished talent Mitch Larkin also confirmed attendance, as did Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Jesse Puts of the Netherlands.


Kazan hosts are organising a Speedo Swim Clinic & autograph session on September 4 as well as a formal World Cup presentation at the Kremlin on September 5. A press conference will be hosted on September 6 at the venue before the Opening Ceremony kick-off the event on Friday September 7.

In addition, the organisers have focused on a out-of-competition programme open to kids and amateur swimmers with two dedicated challenges on Saturday September 8.

The World Cup meets will count towards qualifying for the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) 2018 to take place from December 11-16 in Hangzhou, China.


Multiple Olympic and World champion but also last year’s Series overall winner Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden who just completed an impressive European championships is gearing up to the highly anticipated FINA Swimming World Cup to start in just 22 days.

Sjostrom, 24, doesn’t need to be introduced anymore. She counts 1 Olympic gold medal, 10 World titles and holds another 6 World Records. She will – with no doubt – be one of the biggest stars to highlight the pool action over the next few months throughout the circuit of the World Cup (calendar 2018).

Despite anticipating the new Series with so much success and prowess in her bag, Sjostrom admits that equalling 2017 is going to be tough:

“I was in the best shape of my life during 2017.”

“My main goal is obviously to always get better every year. This year was all about improving my training again, to build a good base for next year (2019) and 2020.”

A big fan of both the 25 and 50m pool format and understandably the Eindhoven (NED) venue*, Sjostrom says:

“I like the short and long course mix. I really liked the World Cup in Eindhoven last year. The Dutch people just know how to organise swimming meets.”

*Sjostrom bagged her first European championships title in Eindhoven 10 years ago when she was 14, so Eindhoven holds a special place in her heart.

“Eindhoven Organising Committee provided a good hotel, lovely food, easy access to the pool, a lots of space for warm up / warm down etc.”

Sjostrom, who once received the precious advice to “Remember that winning and failure is a part of being an athlete. You have to learn to handle them both”, shared detailed about her current training regime.

“At the moment I share my training time between two locations: I am training 50% in Stockholm with the national elite centre with my coach Johan Wallberg and 50 % in Belek, Turkey.”

“My training includes 10 swim sessions and 2 gym + 2 core /circuit / Pilates per week. I sometimes swim 14km (2x7km sessions) and the next day it can be just 5 km and gym in the afternoon. But I would say an average of 10km a day (two 5km sessions).”

Being an elite athlete isn’t always easy and training can be particularly challenging.

Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden is gearing up to the highly anticipated FINA Swimming World Cup
photo credit: FINA

“The most difficult part for me is to get in the freezing water in the morning, I hate it! I dislike hot water too! Also, when I feel low in the water, it doesn’t even matter if I try to use my legs or arms more, I just sink more. These are the worst kind of sessions.”

With 22 days to go to the start of the FINA Swimming World Cup, Kazan, Russia is finalising preparations to host the inaugural leg from September 7-9. Live Streaming available on FINAtv. A press conference during which the Trophies will be revealed will take place on September 6.

The Series will be held in 50m format pool at the Kazan Aquatics Palace, a five-year old state-of-the-art facility on the banks of the Kazanka River built in 2013 on the occasion of the Summer Universiade and then used for the diving and water polo competitions of the FINA World Championships in 2015.

There will be a total of 32 individual events and 2 relays as below:


One of the biggest annual swimming competition is around the corner, and it is time to start previewing the event and the medal contenders.

FINA managed to steal a little bit of time of two of the best swimmers of the FINA Swimming World Cup, the current Title holder South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and SWC 2017 6th place Daiya Seto of Japan.

The Swimming World Cup 2018 promises to be once again a fierce battle between the sport’s biggest names.

“No pressure at all, the World Cups are always a good time, of course I always want to win any competition I race in but I feel the World Cups are always special for me,” says a very confident and relaxed Le Clos, who currently trains in Antalya in Turkey for about 30 hours per week.

Discussing the format of the Series, Le Clos adds:

“For me personally, I think short course swimming is more exciting when it is over a series of events. I’ve always enjoyed the concept of a circuit with many stops around the world, although sometimes the structure around the events makes it difficult to train in between, especially when travelling through time zones.”

Seto is also looking forward to facing his opponents:

“The World Cup is fun. I’m looking forward to the race with the rivals. I think that it will be good exercise.”

World Cup’s favourite Le Clos admits having many favourites hosts:

“I have many but my all-time favourites are Doha, Eindhoven and Singapore because they combine great swimming facilities with an exciting atmosphere.”

“The World Cup is an opportunity for me to work on my skills throughout the year with short course racing and I challenge myself to win the overall series. There are many great champions that have come through and will challenge, and I have huge respect for all of them.”

photo credit: FINA

For Seto, who currently swims about 10km every day in preparation, it is the adrenaline of racing the Butterfly King that is the most exciting:

“Chad le Clos of South Africa is the one I am particularly looking forward to swimming next to because he is tough.”

Positive thinking and winning attitude is definitely two ways to describe Seto and Le Clos although the latter confess the best advice he ever received was from his father, Bert Le Clos, whom we know well from his energy in the stands.

“I have received a lot of great advice from numerous mentors but the best advice has usually come from my Dad, he is the greatest. He has always said to me to never give up in any race no matter how far behind or ahead you are, that’s why I’m always able to push through during tough wins or losses.”

Both athletes have confirmed they will attend the FINA World Swimming Championships 2018 in Hangzhou, China, in December this year with the objective to establish new World Records.



The FINA Family gathered today in Lausanne (SUI) for the celebration of FINA’s 110th anniversary and the official inauguration of the new FINA Headquarters. Many IOC members and other distinguished sport dignitaries were also present in the ceremony, where a symbolic ribbon was cut by FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione, IOC President Thomas Bach, ANOC President Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.

Addressing all the guests present in Lausanne, Dr Maglione was naturally a happy man: “Our 110-year history is made of many achievements and sport Stars. It was built on unforgettable competitions and exciting moments. It was dictated by the challenges of our world and the opportunities it may offer. It was shaped with the essential support of our members. FINA was founded by eight national members in 1908. 110 years later, our International Federation has 209 partners in the five continents. We have a solid past behind us, brilliantly conducted by many generations of great leaders”.

FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione

On the new Headquarters in Lausanne, the FINA President declared: “For the first time, FINA owns its Headquarters. This inauguration in the Olympic Capital is also a testimony of our growth and sustainability. We are a leading International Federation in a very competitive sport environment and we surely constitute one of the pillars of the Olympic Movement”.

In his speech, IOC President Thomas Bach congratulated FINA for this double celebration: “It is definitively a great day for Aquatics, but also for the entire Olympic Movement. You have a 110-year-history of success. You had great and outstanding athletes, strengthening the role of Sport in society. This house is simultaneously a symbol of tradition and a commitment to the future”.

After concluding his tribute to FINA, Mr Bach presented to the FINA President a special IOC President Trophy. “The title of this piece is ‘The sky is the limit’. I believe it fits FINA quite well”, considered the IOC President.

Sheikh Al-Sabah was the third speaker at the ceremony. “Without offending any other International Federation, I can say that FINA has an unparalleled level of popularity. You may start your programme at the Olympics at any time – morning, afternoon or evening – and your levels of audience are always outstanding!” considered the ANOC President. “FINA’s work on Development issues is also outstanding. You are truly helping athletes all over the world”.

A second ceremony took place a couple of hours later, gathering specifically the FINA National Federations that wanted to be associated with this celebration.

“You are doing a superb work in each of your countries. Your devotion and commitment to Aquatics has produced great stars, and is constantly inspiring the youth to our disciplines. There are more nations winning medals at the highest level, there are more athletes from more countries getting their selection to the Olympic Games. Our Sport keeps growing in a more harmonious way”, stated FINA President Dr Maglione.

A second cut-of-the-ribbon was then performed by Dr Maglione, FINA First Vice-President Husain Al Musallam and FINA Second Vice-President Sam Ramsamy.


After a ten-meet circuit which stopped in Paris-Montreuil (FRA), Beijing (CHN), Tokyo (JPN), Samorin (SVK), Budapest (HUN), Madrid (ESP), Surrey BC (CAN), Los Angeles (USA), Syros Island (GRE) and Tashkent (UZB), swimmers from Japan, Ukraine and Italy have shown steady consistency in their routines.

As the 2018 edition of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series has now come to end on Sunday July 1 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, swimmers from Italy, Japan and Ukraine stand out by reaching the top position in the ranking.

Rio 2016 silver medallist Yukiko Inui of Japan, who just missed the podium in both the Technical and Free routines in Budapest World Championships 2017, and Yelyzaveta Yakhno of Ukraine have collected excellent results throughout the competition and therefore easily lead the Solo standing with 330 points each. Italy (Linda Cerruti) is third with 250 points.

The same stars, together with their partners, top the Duet standing with 320 points each for Japan and Ukraine, while Italy earned 295 points.

2018 FINA Artistic Swimming World Series
Photo credit: FINA

The Ukrainian girls were the best in the Team events this season and collected 760 points. Slovakia is second with 474 points, and France secure the third spot with 420 points.

In the Mixed event, Italy clinches the top position with 308 pints and Spain follows with 310.


Detailed news reports for each leg are available on FINA website here.

The 2018 circuit is now completed and you can see all the results here. The competition will resume next year in March 2019.


The FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Super Final 2018 is currently taking place in Budapest, Hungary, until Saturday June 23.

Montenegro and the USA are the only two sides in the field standing with a clean sheet. On Day 2, the Montenegrins had a big win over host Hungary, coming from 7-9 down to clinch the match with 12-9, while the Americans beat Kazakhstan with ease. Spain recovered from the opening day’s defeat against the US and managed to beat World champions Croatia in a penalty shootout. Australia did a splendid job against Japan, thanks to the outstanding efforts of Aaron Younger who netted 6 goals.

In the first game of the second tournament day, the Aussies beat Japan with ease. Australia took a 4-1 lead in the opening period – with a hat-trick from Younger – and managed to maintain a 3-4 goals lead throughout the game, Japan never had the chance to earn any point this afternoon.

The second game of the second day brought the first penalty shootout of the tourney as Croatia managed to force the game into a shootout after a late equaliser. With a great spell in the second period Spain rushed ahead and maintained its lead for most of the game but were unable to score in the last period and that cost them one point – but at least they won in the shootout as their goalie Dani Lopez had two stops.

Montenegro and Hungary played a magnificent match which was really entertaining for three periods, at least for the home fans – but the fourth period saw only Montenegrin goals while the Hungarian ran out of ideas. They led 7-9 with 2:54 to go in the third – but they were unable to score any more in the game while their rivals produced a 5-0 rush, won the match and is set to win the group.

FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Super Final 2018
credit: FINA

The closing match of the day brought less excitements: apart from a weaker spell early in the second period, the US side took the game under firm control against Kazakhstan and decided the outcome by the end of the third period as they netted three goals in 1:43 minutes to go 8-2 up.

You can read detailed match reports here and today’s (DAY 3) report will be availabe this evening on FINA website.

Provisional Standings

Group A: 1. Montenegro 6, 2. Hungary 3, 3. Australia 3, 4. Japan 0

Group B: 1. United States 6, 2. Croatia 4, 3. Spain 2, 3. Kazakhstan 0