Greece’s water polo team clinched a place in the Tokyo Olympics after beating Russia 13-10 in a nail-biting game on Saturday night.
The Greek team qualified for the 16th time and 11th consecutive for the Olympic games.
The National team started the match impressively and led 4-1. The Russians reacted immediately and tied at 5-5 shortly before the end of the half, which found Greece leading 6-5.
At the end of the third period Greece had increased its lead to 2 goals (11-9).
On the fourth period Angelos Vlachopoulos, who was voted man of the match, scored a crucial goal to lead to Greece to victory (13-10).
Θρίαμβος, η Ελλάδα 🇬🇷πάει στους Ολυμπιακούς Αγώνες. Η Εθνική πόλο νίκησε 13-10 και εξασφάλισε τη συμμετοχή στους Ολυμπιακούς για 16η φορά στην ιστορία. Συγχαρητήρια στους παίκτες και τους προπονητές#ΤeamHellas #WaterPolo #Tokyo2020 #OlympicGames #RoadtoTokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/x4KQvNnqCq
— Ηellenic Olympic (@HellenicOlympic) February 20, 2021
Great day for Greece
“It is a great day for Greece, water polo and the country’s sports. I congratulate all the contributors to this great success, players and coaches,” the president of the Hellenic Swimming Federation Dimitris Diathesopoulos said.
“Water polo continues the tradition and is the flag bearer of Greece in team sports in the top event in the world,” he added.
“Our players played a great game, and if they play in the Olympics like today, they will not easily lose to any team,” Diathesopoulos said.
On Friday, the Blue and White claimed a dramatic victory on penalties against France for the men’s Olympic water polo qualification tournament quarter-final stage.
The Greece men’s national water polo team represents Greece in international men’s water polo competitions and it is organized and run by the Hellenic Swimming Federation.
Greece’s long tradition in water polo
Greece has a long tradition of strong presence at international level, with their major successes being the two bronze medals won at the World Championship in 2005 and 2015.
The Greeks have also won a silver medal at the World Cup in 1997, three bronze medals at the World League in 2004, 2006 and 2016.
They have also won one silver (2018) and four bronze medals (1951, 1991, 1993, 2013) at the Mediterranean Games.
Moreover, they have closely missed a medal in the 2016 European Championship, the 2004 Olympic Games, the 2003 World Championship and the 1999 European Championship.
Greece is one of only nine national teams in the world to have won (at least) a medal in the World Championship, currently occupying the eighth place on the medal table, one above Germany.
They have qualified at least for the quarter-finals in all their World Championship participations since 1994, winning the two aforementioned bronze medals and never finishing below the 6th place from 2001 and on.