The world of Greek water polo is celebrating a new historical achievement as the Under 17 men’s team won European gold on Monday.
This is the country’s first-ever U17 men’s European title.
Serbia, who lost the final to Greece, and Spain, completed the podium, with their respective silver and bronze wins.
The Spanish had suffered a painful shootout defeat against Greece in the semi-finals.
Greek team’s early lead in final
The Greek team defeated Serbia 9-8 to win the title and celebrate their first-ever title in the history of the U17 Europeans.
After the Serbs scored the first goal of the final, four minutes into the game, the Greek team hit three in as many possessions in a span of 88 seconds to go 3-1 up. The Serbs went completely frozen for the following period, as the tournament’s page describes.
Eventually, Greece kept its lead despite the hard battling and reached the middle break with a commanding 6-1.
The Serbs halted their scoreless run in the third period, which ended 7-5.
In the fourth period, the Greek team upped their score to 9-5 with 3:47 minutes remaining, but the Serbs reduced the gap to 9-8 by the end of the game.
Historical first title for Greek U17 Men’s Water Polo team
The Greek youth men’s water polo teams had previously outstanding success in the U20 class at the World championships (winning gold medals in 2001, 2017 and 2019), claimed the U19 European title in 2018 and the U18 World’s in the same year, but in this competition this was their first-ever triumph.
Two years ago, the Greeks had lost the medal to the Serbs 10-6, according to LEN’s account of the tournament.
Greece Wins Silver in Men’s Water Polo World Championship
In July, Greece won the silver medal in the men’s water polo World Championship, which was also the national team’s best-ever men’s water polo World Championship result.
The silver medal win brought to Greece the qualification to compete at the Olympic Games of Paris in 2024.
The Greek national men’s water polo team has participated 16 times at the Olympic Games thus far, having always been present in the tournament since 1980.