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Water Polo, Men

Date28 July – 7 August 1948
StatusOlympic
LocationWembley Arena, Wembley, London / Finchley Open Air Pool, Finchley, London
Participants156 from 18 countries
FormatSeries of round-robin elimination pools, followed by round-robin semi-final pools, and then round-robin final pools.

Hungary had won the gold medal in 1932 and 1936, but at the 1947 European Championships, Italy won the title, as Hungary was shut out of the medals. The two teams were favored in London, and both advanced to the final round after the Byzantine series of rounds that were contested in 1948. But they had already met in Group C of round two, Italy winning 4-3. That result was carried over to the final round, and would help determine the eventual champions, Italy taking gold and Hungary the silver. Italy played eight matches in the tournament, winning seven, and tying Yugoslavia in first round group play. Belgium and the Netherlands were also in the final round. Belgium had won six previous Olympic medals in the sport, while the Dutch team had never won one. They had met in the semi-final round, tying 3-3, but the Netherlands won the bronze medal in the final round by virtue of tying Hungary, 4-4. The 1948 water polo tournament saw the Olympic début of Hungary’s Dezső Gyarmati. Gyarmati would lead Hungary to medals at the next five Olympics and is usually considered, with Spain’s Manuel Estiarte, one of the two greatest water polo players of all-time.

There were several matches in early rounds that were replayed after protests against referee decision, notably Hungary vs Egypt, and Italy vs Yugoslavia. After the Egyptian protest, the Hungarian Ministry of Education cabled the London Organizing Committee that “Hungary would withdraw from the Games if there are further anti-sporting manifestations such as the annulment of the Hungarian-Egyptian water polo match.” Newspapers reported that the Egyptians eventually withdrew their protest but a new match was still held, with basically the same result. Yugoslavia protested the first match against Italy for refereeing decision, including “raising the wrong foul flag.” In Group D, Australia protested before their match against Italy about the corks and guidelines marking the playing area, and the referee noted that the match was “played under protest.”

PosCompetitor(s)NOC
1ItalyITAGold
Pasquale BuonocoreEmilio BulgarelliCesare RubiniGeminio OgnioGildo ArenaAldo GhiraGianfranco PandolfiniMario MajoniTullio Pandolfini
2HungaryHUNSilver
Endre GyőrfiMiklós HolopDezső GyarmatiKároly SzittyaOszkár CsuvikIstván Szívós, Sr.Dezső LemhényiLászló JeneyDezső FábiánJenő BrandiPál Pók
3NetherlandsNEDBronze
Joop RohnerNijs KorevaarCor BraasemHans StamAlbert RuimschotelRuud van FeggelenFrits SmolPiet SalomonsHennie Keetelaar
4BelgiumBEL
Théo-Léo De SmetHenri De PauwGeorges LeenheereÉmile D'HoogePaul RigaumontFernand IsseléWilly SimonsAlphonse Martin
5SwedenSWE
Rune ÖbergErik HolmRolf JulinRoland SpångbergArne JutnerOlle JohanssonÅke JulinFolke ErikssonKnut GaddOlle Ohlson
6FranceFRA
François DésbonnetMaurice LefèbvreRobert Le BrasMarco DienerRobert HimgiRoger DewaschJacques BertheRaymond MassolJacques ViaeneÉmile BermynMarcel Spilliaert
7EgyptEGY
Ahmed Fouad NessimTaha El-GamalMohamed KhadryMohamed HaragaDorri Abdel KaderAbdel Aziz KhalifaSamir GharboMohamed Hemmat
8SpainESP
Juan SerratJosé PujolCarlos FalpCarlos MartíFrancisco CastilloAgustín MestresValentín SabateÁngel Sabata
=9United StatesUSA
Ralph BudelmanLee CaseKenneth BeckChris ChristensenHarold DashDixon FiskeBob BrayEdwin Knox
=9IndiaIND
Gora SealSamarandra ChatterjeeSuhas ChatterjeeDwarkadas MurarjiDurga DasJamini DasSachin NagIsaac MansoorJahar Ahir
=9YugoslaviaYUG
Zdravko-Ćiro KovačićVeljko BakašunIvo GiovanelliIvo KurtiniMarko BrajnovićLuka CiganovićBožo GrkinićJuraj AmšelIvo Štakula
=9ArgentinaARG
Rubén MaidanaLadislao SzaboHugo PronoOsvaldo CodaroCarlos VisentínMarcelo VisentínAníbal Filiberti
=13UruguayURU
Enrique PereiraJulio LópezJulio César CostemalleLeonel GabrielJuan BucetaOsvaldo MariñoRamón AbellaRaúl Castro
=13SwitzerlandSUI
André GrosjeanErwin KlumppEdouard HauserGeorges HauserTristan SauerRené WeibelHeinrich Keller
=13ChileCHI
Teodoro SalahLuis AguirrebeñaIsaac FroimovichPedro AguirrebeñaAugusto HurtadoJosé SalahSvante TörnvallOsvaldo Martínez
=13AustraliaAUS
Ben DalleyJack KingEric JohnstonLes McKayLeon FergusonArthur BurgeHerman DoernerColin FrenchRoger CornforthJack Ferguson
=13Great BritainGBR
Ian JohnsonReg PotterDavid MurrayPeter HardieCharlie BrandRoy GarforthForbes GentlemanTrevor Lewis
=13GreeceGRE
Alexandros MonastiriotisIoannis PapastefanouDimitrios ZografosPanagiotis ProvatopoulosDimosthenis StamboulisEmmanouil PapadopoulosNikolaos MelanofeidisRikhardos Brousalis

Round One (29 July – 1 August 1948)

Group A (30 – 31 July 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1BelgiumBEL1103145
2United StatesUSA1103114
3UruguayURU0020117

Match #1 USA 7 – 0URU
Match #2 BEL 10 – 1URU
Match #3 BEL 4 – 4USA

Group B (29 – 31 July 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1SwedenSWE2004102
2SpainESP101265
3SwitzerlandSUI0020211

Match #1 SWE 6 – 1SUI
Match #2 SWE 4 – 1ESP
Match #3 ESP 5 – 1SUI

Group C (30 – 31 July 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1NetherlandsNED2004261
2IndiaIND1012816
3ChileCHI0020421

Match #1 NED 12 – 1IND
Match #2 IND 7 – 4CHI
Match #3 NED 14 – 0CHI

Group D (30 July – 1 August 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1ItalyITA1103134
2YugoslaviaYUG1103167
3AustraliaAUS0020321

Match #1 ITA 9 – 0AUS
Match #2 YUG 12 – 3AUS
Match #3 1ITA 4 – 2YUG
Replay #3 ITA 4 – 4YUG

Group E (29 July – 1 August 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1HungaryHUN2004164
2EgyptEGY011158
3Great BritainGBR0111514

Match #1 2HUN 4 – 2EGY
Match #2 HUN 11 – 2GBR
Match #3 EGY 3 – 3GBR
Replay #1 HUN 5 – 2EGY

Group F (30 – 31 July 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1FranceFRA2004112
2ArgentinaARG101276
3GreeceGRE0020313

Match #1 FRA 4 – 1ARG
Match #2 ARG 6 – 2GRE
Match #3 FRA 7 – 1GRE

Round Two (2 – 3 August 1948)

Group A (2 – 3 August 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1SwedenSWE110381
2BelgiumBEL010111
3United StatesUSA01114113

Match #1 BEL 1 – 1SWE
Match #2 SWE 7 – 0USA

Group B (2 – 3 August 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1NetherlandsNED20041734
2SpainESP1012136
3IndiaIND00202235

Match #1 NED 5 – 2ESP
Match #2 ESP 11 – 1IND

Group C (2 – 3 August 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1ItalyITA1103876
2HungaryHUN101265
3YugoslaviaYUG0111577

Match #1 ITA 4 – 3HUN
Match #2 HUN 3 – 1YUG

Group D (2 – 3 August 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1FranceFRA1103748
2EgyptEGY020277
3ArgentinaARG0111589

Match #1 EGY 3 – 3FRA
Match #2 ARG 4 – 4EGY

Classification Round 5-8 (6 – 7 August 1948)

Classification matches.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1SwedenSWE21058410
2FranceFRA12046511
3EgyptEGY11138712
4SpainESP00303913

Match #1 SWE 3 – 2EGY
Match #2 FRA 2 – 1ESP
Match #3 EGY 3 – 1ESP
Match #4 FRA 1 – 1SWE

Semi-Finals (4 – 5 August 1948)

Group A (4 – 5 August 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1NetherlandsNED210513814
2BelgiumBEL12048515
3SwedenSWE11138716
4SpainESP003041317

Match #1 BEL 3 – 3NED
Match #2 NED 5 – 3SWE
Match #3 BEL 4 – 1ESP

Group B (4 – 5 August 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1ItalyITA300614618
2HungaryHUN2014121019
3FranceFRA012191320
4EgyptEGY012161221

Match #1 ITA 5 – 1EGY
Match #2 HUN 5 – 4FRA
Match #3 ITA 5 – 2FRA

Final Round (6 – 7 August 1948)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1ItalyITA300612722
2HungaryHUN111310823
3NetherlandsNED021291124
4BelgiumBEL012151025

Match #1 HUN 4 – 4NED
Match #2 ITA 4 – 2BEL
Match #3 HUN 3 – 0BEL
Match #4 ITA 4 – 2NED