World Championships Diary, Gwangju, July 16, 2019: Korea Makes Water Polo History

Women's water polo had a historic match with host Korea. Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala

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The the 2019 World Championships in Aquatics is underway in Gwangju, Korea. Each day through the event, Swimming World will bring you a round-up of news items in brief beyond our main coverage in our World Championships Diary.

Today, the Korean women’s water polo team made history, participating at the world level for the first time. Meanwhile, the U.S. added another diving medal.

  • Check out more of our complete World Championship coverage here.

Water Polo

Korean women participate for first time at worlds

It is the second day of the FINA World Championship women’s water polo tournament at the Nambu University Grounds in Gwangju.

Group B started the action and a crowd of more than 2000 turned out to watch the history-making Korean women take on Russia. More history came when Daseul Kyung scored Korea’s first goal at this level — after nearly 50 minutes of action over two matches — which sent the Korean media into a frenzy. Hungarian captain Rita Keszthelyi scored seven goals as her team beat a resurgent Canada 15-14. A three-goal burst inspired by Joelle Bekhazi brought Canada back into the match and within a whisper of a draw.

Group C is fast heading the way of Spain, the 2013 world champion, downing Kazakhstan 18-6. Spanish head coach praised his opponents for their structure, which caused problems in the first quarter. Greece took a first win after a surprise 10-goal loss to Spain on Sunday, defeating Cuba 20-4 with Alkisti Avramidou netting six.

Group D produced two exciting and close encounters with Australia heading off China 14-12 in a high-class match-up and then Italy winning by the same margin over a gritty Japan 9-7.

Group A completed the night’s program with the world champion and European champions level at halftime before United States of America repeatedly had to repel Netherlands before scoring the last two goals for 12-9. New Zealand will finish third in the group at worst after defeating South Africa 17-4.


U.S. pair keeps medals coming at World Championships

Andrew Capobianco/Katrina Young of the United States won the bronze medal in the mixed team title event (357.60).

It is the second medal for the U.S. in diving so far this worlds, after not claiming any at worlds in 14 years. A full recap can be found here. The duo reflected on the performance:

Katrina Young (USA), bronze:

“It was the second medal after 10m synchro, all in bronze. I was happy about that. I competed in the event for the first time and the coolest part of it was that I could watch my partner’s dive and cheered up for him as louder as possible. It was fun!”

Andrew Capobianco (USA), bronze:

“I am a springboard person. I was excited to compete together with Katrina and to encourage each other. It was a different feeling compared with other events. I felt more relaxed and enjoyed a lot the competition.”


Check out more results from all world championships competitions here.