The United States won its thirteenth title at the 2019 Women’s Water Polo World League. By winning, the nation will get to defend its Olympic title in Tokyo. Overall eight teams reached the Super Final round and competed in two groups and then the elimination round. The Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final was held in Budapest, Hungary from June 4th to June 9th 2019.
Group A was topped by Italy whom went undefeated with wins over Australia (11-9), Netherlands (8-7) and China (10-7). The Netherlands would grab second in the group after they defeated Australia 8-7 during their final game. Australia finished third while China finished fourth.
The United States showcased its strength by defeating Hungary (12-9), Canada (15-4) and Russia (12-7) to go undefeated. Despite needing a penalty shoot-out to defeat Canada, Russia locked second place in the group with a 14-9 victory over Hungary. Hungary finished third with a 16-14 victory over Canada during their final game.
The quarterfinals saw no upsets as all of the top seeds advance to the semi-finals. Russia defeated Australia 9-8, Italy defeated Canada 15-10, the Netherlands defeated Hungary 12-10, and the United States defeated China 21-6. The first semi-final had the United States defeating the Netherlands 8-6 while a massive fourth quarter comeback by Russia forced the game against Italy into a shoot-out. Italy managed to stave off defeat by winning it 4-3. The final was a tight affair with Italy taking a 4-3 lead at the half. The United States would take the lead in the third quarter and hold on to it to win 10-9. Russia won the bronze medal over the Netherlands via the score of 10-7.
The United States will be looking to continue their medal streak and win their third gold medal in a row. For other nations the next opportunity to qualify in women’s water polo will be at the 2019 World Aquatics Games to be held in July.
* United States