Fantastic US Team unbeatable in Rio? (Image: usawaterpolo.org)
Four years to the day the U.S. Olympic Women's Water Polo Team and Spain met for Olympic gold in London they met again today to begin play at the 2016 Olympic Games. Despite no medals being available the result was a similar one as the USA Women were victorious in convincing fashion claiming an 11-4 victory.
„Instead of narrowing the differences between the US and the rest of his rivals, these are enlarged. And to the absolute limits” – writes Alberto Martinez, journalist of Spanish sports newspaper As.
"They have been superior in everything" - Miki Oca, head coach of Spain said after the match.
"To confront the United States in the Olympic Games you have to do things well from the beginning, with a very high pitch, because it is the way they play.”
The defending Olympic champions were playing for their head coach, Adam Krikorian as well, who left the Rio Games over the weekend to be with his family after the death of brother Blake Krikorian.
"The team's support has been everything to me, I love them to death. I told them last night that sometimes the player-coach relationship is a little bit awkward. I can be tough at times but deep down I love them all and I know they have love and respect for me as well. Their spirits really lifted me up.”
"Leaving the (Olympic) Village to go home was one of the hardest things to do because you are leaving your team here. Arriving back at home was the hardest thing to do though, to see the family for the first time after it happened."
The Aussies opened their Rio 2016 campaign with a thumping 14-4 defeat of Russia, starting with six straight goals and going into half time with an 8-1 lead.
"That was our plan. Good sides come out strong early and that's exactly what we wanted to do," - Rowena Webster told reporters.
Russian official and former water polo player Andrey Belofastov also would not be drawn on how the doping scandal had affected his team.
He tipped the Stingers to have a strong chance against gold medal favourites United States, who beat Spain 11-4 immediately before the Australian game.
"Australia can beat America if they play with their head,"
The Olympic women’s water polo tournament is not just a USA-Australia rivalry, though, as European champion Hungarian team is also hungry for gold. The Magyars beat China 13-11 in their first match.
„The match has been as hard as we had expected, since the Chinese are very strong. We had not beat them in the previous two and a half years in the big events. I am very happy that we could revenge ourselves on them” – head coach of Hungary Attila Bíró said for the official homepage of the Hungarian federation.
Italy won their debut match in Rio, too, they beat host Brazil 9-3.
(usawaterpolo.org, as.com, waterpolo.hu, au.sports.yahoo.com)