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Greece Men’s Water Polo Team Advances To World Championship Final

The Greek national men's water polo team 2023.
Greece defeated Serbia in the Men’s Water Polo World Championships 2023 taking place in Fukuoka, Japan, and will claim the gold medal on Saturday’s final. Credit: Facebook / Hellenic Olympic Committee

Greece men’s national water polo team on Thursday defeated Serbia in the World Championship semifinals hosted in Fukuoka, Japan, and earned Olympic qualification for Paris 2024.

The Greek team won a crushing victory, finishing the game with a score of 13-7, and will compete for the first time in a World championship final – after three semifinal defeats in previous years’ tournaments.

In Saturday’s final game, scheduled at noon Greek time, Greece will face the winner of the second semifinal, Hungary.

Greece dominated water polo semifinal from start to finish

Greece dominated the game against the Serbs from start to finish, unlike two previous thriller games with Montenegro and the United States.

The Greek team led the first period 3-2, eventually going to halftime 6-2. The second half continued with 3-3 and 4-2.

Earlier this week, Greece defeated Montenegro 10-9 in a cliffhanger game to secure a place in the semifinals of the water polo World Championship 2023.

The team of Thodoris Vlachos on Tuesday secured the victory in the final seconds of the thrilling game to win a place among the four best teams in the world.

Greek national men’s water polo team in the Olympic Games

The Greek national men’s water polo team has participated 16 times at the Olympic Games, having always been present in the tournament since 1980.

Their best result is the 2nd place at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, when they lost 13–10 to Serbia in the gold medal game.

The Greeks have secured a quarter-finals presence on six occasions and closely missed a medal in the 2004 Olympic Games.

Major achievements of Greek water polo

Water polo has a rich history in Greece and it has become an integral part of the Greek sporting culture over the last few decades. Greek water polo teams and players have achieved numerous domestic and international titles, making the sport a popular and beloved pastime in the country.

So far, the major successes of the Greek national men’s water polo team are the three bronze medals won at the World Championships in 2005, 2015 and 2022.

Last year Greece won the bronze medal at the water polo FINA World Championships held in Hungary after beating Croatia 9-7.

Besides the achievements of the national team, Greek water polo celebrated another major win in April 2023; it was a Greek club, Apollon Smyrnis, that won the European water polo champions league (LEN Challenger Cup), a prestigious competition for up-and-coming teams in Europe.

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