The men’s waterpolo Olympic tournament has just started. Here’s a quick overview on the teams playing by one of the best Italian waterpolo experts, Alessandro Arbocò.
Not only is Alessandro Arbocò a great expert of Italian and international waterpolo* (and a good friend), but he’s also written here for the Daily Pinner many times! During the London 2012 Olympinner, he talked about (you guess!) the waterpolo Olympic tournament (the article is in Italian).
Here are his thoughts about the men’s general situation of the tournament.
The pre-Olympic scenario
Let’s make some math. London 2012 Gold medal went to Croazia, whilst Barcellona 2013 World Championships went to Hungary. These are the only two competitions that haven’t been won by Serbia over the last few years.
Deki Savić & co. have nearly nailed everything that they can possibly win: Kazan 2015 World Championships, Budapest 2014 and Belgrado 2016 European titles, as well as the latest four editions of the World League – they got them all in a row!
Are those premises enough to safely say that the Rio 2016 Gold medal is a closed file already? Of course not! What’s true is that the other teams will have to deal with Serbia, and their mission doesn’t sound easy to meet.
Who will win the waterpolo Olympic tournament?
The Serbian “Dolphins” have recently managed to fix one of the worst habit of their national team – the incapability of not playing as a real team when things get worse. On top of that, the Serbians have strong players covering all the roles, meaning that there isn’t any weak link within the team. Every single team member is a top player in their specific role. That’s quite of an advantage for Serbia.
There’s good news for the Olympic tournament generally speaking, though. In fact, the overall level of all the teams of the tournament is definitely high. Among the ten teams looking for playing in the pools, only France and Japan can lose all their matches, and close their groups at 0 points.
Greece and Spain have exponentially improved after some years of ups and downs. In Belgrado they both showed to be competitive teams nearly at the same level as the big five – Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Hungary, and Italy.
USA, Australia and Brazil have recently demonstrated that they aren’t simply underdogs. In fact, they can surprise the other teams. They are taking a big step forward thanks to the experience and the skills that people like Udovičić, Fatović and Rudić have added to their technical staff .