Croatia’s young water polo with eight players competing for the first time at a major championship, finished their run at the World Championship in the Hungarian capital in fourth place on Sunday. In the battle for the bronze medal, Greece bested the Croatian team 9:7 (1:0, 4:3, 3:2, 1:2).
The Greek team put in a much stronger performance and led the entire match. Coach Ivica Tucak said the team needed to take their game up a notch at this level of competition.
“We are clearly not ready for third place yet at such a major tournament. The kind of play we demonstrated here is adequate for a certain level of competition but today we saw just how big the difference is between a medal and fourth place," Tucak told HRT.
The national team will take a short break and reunite in mid-July to start training for the 35th European Water Polo Championship, hosted by Croatia. The championship will take place in Split's Spaladium Arena from August 27 to September 10, welcoming as many as 16 men's and 12 women's water polo teams to the tournament.
“I think the most important thing is to clear our heads over the next two weeks and then start preparing for the European Championship. The tournament showed just how good the teams are at the top of the sport of water polo. All eight teams that went to the quarterfinals had a chance to advance to the finals. Congratulations to the Greeks, and it's up to us to prepare and raise our game for Split, because I think we showed that we have quality,” said player Loren Fatović.
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