Spain Tops Greece to Win Women’s Junior Water Polo World Championship

Photo Courtesy: Twitter, @fina1908

Spain Tops Greece to Win Women’s Junior Water Polo World Championship

Ariadne Ruiz and captain Paula Camus scored three times each as Spain beat Greece, 10-5, on Saturday to win the 14th FINA Women’s Junior Water Polo World Championship.

Spain used a 4-0 run over two minutes in the first half to built a 5-1 lead it would never surrender. Ruiz scored twice in that stretch, and Camus and Elena Camarena added a goal at the tournament hosted by Netanya, Israel. Camus also scored twice in the third quarter to further distance the Spanish to an 8-3 lead after three quarters.

Elena Ruiz, who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, scored twice. The 16-year-old phenom was also part of the Spanish team that won a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The title is the first for Spain at this level since 2011 and second overall. Spain was the runner-up to the United States, which did not participate in this edition, in both 2013 and 2015.

Greece’s silver medal is its first since the 2017 edition of the biennial tournament. Its senior team did not qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Hungary defeated Italy, 12-10, in the bronze medal match. Hungary’s senior team also won bronze in Tokyo.

The bronze-medal match was tied at the end of each quarter. Anna Ponze put Hungary up for good with just 80 seconds to play. Hungary captain Kinga Peresztegi-Nagy scored four times in the match. Italy’s Sofia Giustini also scored times to finish with a tournament leading 26 goals. Peresztegi-Nagy tallied 21.

Two-time reigning champion Russia topped the Netherlands in the fifth-place classification game, 19-8. Israel won a penalty shootout to finish seventh with a 14-13 victory over Serbia.

The final Junior Water Polo World Championship standings: 1. Spain, 2. Greece, 3. Hungary, 4. Italy, 5. Russia, 6. Netherlands, 7. Israel, 8. Serbia, 9. Brazil, 10. Argentina, 11. France, 12. Germany, 13. Uzbekistan, 14. South Africa, 15. Slovakia, 16. Peru

Full tournament coverage and match replays are available via FINA here.

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