Greece made history on Friday after an epic win against the water polo team of Hungary.
The Greeks qualified for the finals of the tournament at the Tokyo Olympics, for the first time in their history.
The Greek squad won the experienced Hungarians with a score of 9-6, after a brilliant performance in the pool.
This was the first time the Greek water polo team had qualified for the semi-finals after the 2004 Olympic Games of Athens.
Greece reaches the final without a single defeat. The only time the Greek squad didn’t win was when they had a draw against Italy during the group stage.
Greece will now have to wait to find out its opponent for the final, as Spain and Serbia will fight each other later on Friday in the other semi-final of the tournament.
The final will take place on Sunday at 10:30 AM EEST (Athens time).
The Olympic dream began when Greece crushed the US
In order to play with Montenegro in the quarter-finals, and then Hungary in the semi-finals Greece had to overcome the difficult obstacle of the team of the United States last Monday, something that they did surprisingly easily.
The Greek team crushed the United States on Monday with a score of 14-5, finishing first in Group A for the Tokyo Olympics in Japan.
The national water polo squad of Greece showed a brilliant performance making what should have been a tougher game, a piece of cake for the Greek athletes.
The Greek team showed its teeth from the very beginning when Dimitris Skoumpakis scored against the Americans only a few seconds into the game.
After an easy win during the first quarter, the Greeks showed discipline and determination leaving the game at 6-3 for halftime.
During the second half, Greece scored eight more goals, with the Americans managing to break the Greek defense only twice.
With a total of four wins and one draw (against Italy), Greece qualified first in Group A, leaving world champion Italy, Hungary, and the US behind.
The history of Greece’s Water Polo Team
Greece has a long and successful tradition of strong presence at an international level in water polo tournaments.
The country’s major successes are the two bronze medals that Greece 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, as well as one silver in 2018.
Additionally, the Greek team has won four more bronze medals in the past: In 1951, 1991, 1993, and 2013 at the Mediterranean Games.
Greece closely missed a medal in the 2016 European Championship, the 2004 Olympic Games, the 2003 World Championship, and the 1999 European Championship, ending up in 4th place in all four of them.
Greece is one of only nine national teams in the world to have won (at least) a medal in the World Championship, currently occupying eighth place on the medal table, one above Germany.
The country has 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 6th place from 2001 until now.
Greece has participated 16 times at the Olympic Games, always present in the tournament since 1980.
Their best result is 4th place at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, after losing 5–6 to Russia in the bronze medal game. The Greeks have secured a quarter-finals’ presence on six occasions.
The current Olympic team of Greece includes the following players: Emmanuel Zerdevas, Constantinos Genidounias, Dimitrios Skoumpakis, Marios Kapotsis, Ioannis Fountoulis, Alexandros Papanastasiou, Georgios Dervisis, Stylianos Argyropoulos Kanakakis, Constantinos Mourikis, Christodoulos Kolomvos, Constantinos Gkiouvetsis, and Angelos Vlachopoulos.