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SHANGHAI, China, July 29. GREECE came up gold in the final women's water polo match of the FINA World Championships.
Greece upset the partisan crowd with a 9-8 triumph over China in the gold-medal match. Alexandra Asimaki and Antigoni Roumpesi each scored a hat trick in the win for Greece, while Liu Ping and Wang Yi collected two goals each in the loss for China. The gold (Greece) and silver (China) are the first world championship medals in women's water polo for each country.
Russia tripped up Italy, 8-7, to earn the first water polo medal of the FINA World Championships in the bronze-medal match. Olga Belyaeva hit the back of the net three times to lead Russia, while Elisa Casanova and Robert Bianconi each tickled the twine twice for Italy in the loss. It is Russia's fourth bronze in women's water polo.
Australia ended a disappointing tournament for the defending champion United States with a 10-5 drubbing in the 5th-6th place classification match. Bronwen Knox provided much of the firepower for Australia with four goals. Brenda Villa tallied two to lead the U.S.
The loss officially moves the USA's ranking in the world from first to sixth, a perch it held for the past two years. The sixth-place finish is the USA's lowest finish since an eighth-place mark at the 1998 World Championships in Perth, Australia.
The Netherlands topped Canada, 8-7, in the 7th-8th place classification match. Frederike Cabout, Catharina van der Sloot and Iefke van Belkum paced The Netherlands with two goals each, while Emily Csikos collected a hat trick for Canada in the loss.