The quadrennial FINA women’s Water Polo World Cup has completed the group stage in Surgut (RUS), with seven teams trying to unseat the two-time defending champions from the United States. It hasn’t worked so far; the groups and records:
∙ Group A:
1. Russia (3-0); 2. Spain (1-1-1); 3. Australia (1-1-1), 4. China (0-3).
∙ Group B:
1. United States (3-0), 2. Canada (2-1), 3. New Zealand (1-2); 4. South Africa (0-3).
The U.S. has simply overwhelmed its opponents, defeating New Zealand, 18-2; South Africa by 26-1 and Canada by 17-3, for a 61-6 total over three games. Russia defeated Spain (13-9), Australia (14-8) and China (19-11).
The playoffs start Friday with quarterfinal play:
∙ Spain vs. New Zealand
∙ Russia vs. South Africa
∙ Australia vs. Canada
∙ United States vs. China
The winners in each game will meet in the semis on Saturday and the semi winners will vie for the championship on Sunday.
This event debuted back in 1979 and the U.S. has won three times (1979-2010-2014) in the 16 prior editions. The traditional power has been the Netherlands, with eight wins, but not involved in 2018. Australia has also won three times, in 1984-1995-2006.
The U.S. beat Australia in the 2010 and 2014 finals; China won bronze in 2010 and Spain in 2018.
Look for results here.