After 19 years, the Hungarian men’s water polo team won the gold medal at the FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup held in Berlin, Germany between 11-16 September, after beating Australia 10-4 in the final yesterday.
Monday got off to a bumpy start with Head Coach Tamás Märcz’s squad losing their first match against the Germans (12-10) following a 3 point lead. However, the Hungarian team marched through their remaining games.
Overcoming this summer’s disappointing performance at the LEN European Championships where they came in eighth – their worst result since 1989 – the Hungarian team beat Serbia, the current Olympic champion and winner of the last three World Cups, in the semifinals and will face Australia in the final.
Head Coach Tamás Märcz said:
I’m glad that the squad was successful and could win. It’s a great thing to get into the final, but to win is a different thing, it is even harder – but we did it, and managed to pocket an important tournament victory after the summer.
The 2017 FINA World Championship silver medalists took an important advantage of 4-2 over the Australians at the halftime. In the third quarter, the team scored an essential 4-0, and, despite a tie (2-2) in the last, it was too late for the Australian team to beat the Hungarians. The top scorer of the final was Krisztián Manhercz with a total of four goals, while goalie Gergely Kardos became the match’s MVP.
It’s only the first step towards demonstrating something from this new Hungary, it does not mean Hungary will return to the top and never fall down. But we can win if we believe.
This was the fourth success for the Hungarian team in the World Cup competition after previous victories in 1979, 1995 and 1999. Serbia played the bronze medal match and had no difficulties in overcoming the match’s host, Germany, by 15-9.
The top scorer of the competition was Serbian Gavril Subotic, who secured 17 goals throughout the six-day event, while Australian Aaron Younger was nominated as the best player of the tournament.
The final ranking of the 2018 FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup:
- United States
- South Africa
Hungary’s World-Cup winning squad:
Goalkeepers: Gergely Kardos, Soma Vogel
Outfield players: Bence Bátori, Dávid Jansik, Szilárd Jansik, Gergő Kovács, Krisztián Manhercz, Tamás Mezei, Ádám Nagy, Toni Német, Mátyás Pásztor, Zoltán Pohl, Gergő Zalánki
via fina.org, waterpolo.hu, swimmingworldmagazine.com