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Water Polo, Men

Date18 – 27 July 1976
StatusOlympic
LocationPiscine olympique, Montréal, Québec / Centre Claude-Robillard, Montréal, Québec
Participants131 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool.

Since World War II the top water polo nations had been Hungary, Yugoslavia, Italy, and the Soviet Union. In 1973 FINA instituted the World Aquatics Championship, which gave more idea of who the strongest teams were coming into the Olympic year. But those only showed that little had changed in the water polo world. In 1973 Hungary was World Champion, with the Soviets winning silver, and Yugoslavia bronze, while in 1975 the Soviets won the title, followed by Hungary and Italy. At the 1974 European Championships, the medalists finished in the same order as in 1973 at the Worlds – Hungary, USSR, Yugoslavia.

But in a shocker at Montréal, the Soviet Union did not advance to the medal round, placing only third in Group B, trailing the Netherlands and Romania. The Soviet officials were so upset that they withdrew their team from the consolation pool, forfeiting the first match against Cuba, officially stating that several of their players were sick, but the Olympic water polo officials then convinced them to play on. They did but placed second behind Cuba in the consolations, or eighth overall, the forfeited loss to Cuba being the margin between the two teams.

In Group A Italy and Yugoslavia advanced, while Hungary and West Germany made it out of Group C. The final pool saw Hungary win its sixth Olympic water polo gold medal (1932, 1936, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1976). They won their first four matches in the finals, although every game was close, as they won by scores of 6-5, 5-3, 5-3, 9-8, and then faced their archrival, Yugoslavia, who had not won a game in the final round. The two teams tied, 5-5, which gave Hungary the gold and placed Yugoslavia fifth, without a final round victory. Italy and the Netherlands tied the final match of the tournament, 3-3, which left them tied in the pool, with 2 wins, 2 ties, and 1 loss each. They were also tied on goal differential, but Italy was awarded the silver medal because they had scored more goals in the medal round, 22-18.

Hungary also had the leading goalscorer of the tournament, with Tamás Faragó, who scored 22 times. István Szivós, Jr. was also on the Hungarian team, winning his third consecutive Olympic medal, after bronze in 1968 and silver in 1972. He would return in 1980 and win a fourth medal, a bronze.

PosCompetitor(s)NOC
1HungaryHUNGold
Endre MolnárIstván Szívós, Jr.Tamás FaragóLászló SárosiFerenc KonrádTibor CservenyákGyörgy HorkaiGábor CsapóAttila SudárGyörgy KenézGyörgy Gerendás
2ItalyITASilver
Alberto Alberani SamaritaniRoldano SimeoniSilvio BaracchiniSante MarsiliMarcello Del DucaGianni De MagistrisAlessandro GhibelliniLuigi CastagnolaRiccardo De MagistrisEnzo D'AngeloUmberto Panerai
3NetherlandsNEDBronze
Evert KroonNico LandeweerdJan Evert VeerHans van ZeelandTon BuunkPiet de ZwarteHans SmitsRik ToonenGijze StroboerAndy Hoepelman
4RomaniaROU
Florin SlăveiCornel RusuGheorghe ZamfirescuAdrian NastasiuDinu PopescuClaudiu RusuIlie SlăveiLiviu RăducanuViorel RusAdrian SchervanDoru Spînu
5YugoslaviaYUG
Miloš MarkovićOzren BonačićUroš MarovićPredrag ManojlovićÐuro SavinovićDamir PolićSiniša BelamarićDušan AntunovićDejan DabovićBoško LozicaZoran Kačić
6West GermanyFRG
Günter KilianLudger WeekeHans SimonJürgen StiefelRoland FreundWolfgang MechlerMartin JellinghausWerner ObschernikatHorst KilianPeter RöhleGünter Wolf
7CubaCUB
Oscar PericheOsvaldo GarcíaRamón PeñaLázaro CostaDavid RodríguezNelson DomínguezJorge RizoEugenio AlmenterosJesús PérezGerardo RodríguezOriel Domínguez
8Soviet UnionURS
Anatoly KlebanovSergey KotenkoAleksandr DrevalAleksandr DolgushinVitaly RomanchukAleksandr KabanovOleksiy BarkalovNikolay MelnikovNuzgari MshvenieradzeVladimer IselidzeAleksandr Zakharov
9CanadaCAN
Guy LeclercGabor CsepregiDavid HartPaul PottierGaétan TurcotteClifford BarryJim DucharmeRick PuglieseGeorge GrossJohn MacLeodDominique Dion
10MexicoMEX
Daniel GómezFrancisco GarcíaJavier GuerraMaximiliano AguilarArturo Valencia, Jr.Juan Manuel GarcíaArmando FernándezVictorino BeristainJorge CosteJuan YáñezAlfred Schmidt
11AustraliaAUS
Paul WilliamsDavid NeeshamIan MillsPeter MontgomeryEddie BrooksAndrew KerrRoss LangdonCharles TurnerDavid WoodsRandall GoffRodney Woods
12IranIRI
Firouz Abdul MohammadianJahangir TavakoliHaydar ShonjaniAhmed PaidayeshDarioush MohammadiBahram TavakoliKamran FirouzpourManouchehr Parchami-AraghiHussain NassimAbdul Reza MajdpourAhmed Yaghoti

Preliminary Round (18 – 20 July 1976)

Group A (18 – 20 July 1976)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1ItalyITA21052613
2YugoslaviaYUG12042510
3CubaCUB11132215
4IranIRI0030439

Match #1 ITA 12 – 1IRI
Match #2 CUB 4 – 4YUG
Match #3 ITA 8 – 6CUB
Match #4 YUG 15 – 0IRI
Match #5 CUB 12 – 3IRI
Match #6 ITA 6 – 6YUG

Group B (18 – 20 July 1976)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1NetherlandsNED30061410
2RomaniaROU11131814
3Soviet UnionURS11131412
4MexicoMEX00301020

Match #1 ROU 5 – 5URS
Match #2 NED 5 – 3MEX
Match #3 ROU 8 – 3MEX
Match #4 NED 3 – 2URS
Match #5 URS 7 – 4MEX
Match #6 NED 6 – 5ROU

Group C (18 – 20 July 1976)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1HungaryHUN3006158
2West GermanyFRG201497
3CanadaCAN1022814
4AustraliaAUS00301417

Match #1 HUN 7 – 6AUS
Match #2 FRG 5 – 0CAN
Match #3 HUN 4 – 2CAN
Match #4 FRG 4 – 3AUS
Match #5 CAN 6 – 5AUS
Match #6 HUN 4 – 0FRG

Classification Round 7-12 (22 – 27 July 1976)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1CubaCUB41093416
2Soviet UnionURS31173316
3CanadaCAN22162721
4MexicoMEX13152619
5AustraliaAUS11332225
6IranIRI0050853

Match #1 1CUB walkover
Match #2 CAN 4 – 3AUS
Match #3 MEX 11 – 3IRI
Match #4 CUB 7 – 5CAN
Match #5 URS 4 – 3MEX
Match #6 AUS 8 – 2IRI
Match #7 CAN 8 – 1IRI
Match #8 CUB 4 – 4MEX
Match #9 URS 7 – 2AUS
Match #10 CAN 6 – 6URS
Match #11 CUB 10 – 2IRI
Match #12 AUS 4 – 4MEX
Match #13 URS 16 – 0IRI
Match #14 CUB 8 – 5AUS
Match #15 CAN 4 – 4MEX

Final Round (22 – 27 July 1976)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1HungaryHUN41093024
=2ItalyITA22162120
=2NetherlandsNED22161817
4RomaniaROU13152625
5YugoslaviaYUG03232124
6West GermanyFRG01411521

Match #1 HUN 6 – 5ITA
Match #2 YUG 5 – 5ROU
Match #3 NED 3 – 2FRG
Match #4 ITA 5 – 4YUG
Match #5 NED 4 – 4ROU
Match #6 HUN 5 – 3FRG
Match #7 FRG 4 – 4YUG
Match #8 HUN 5 – 3NED
Match #9 ITA 4 – 4ROU
Match #10 HUN 9 – 8ROU
Match #11 ITA 4 – 3FRG
Match #12 NED 5 – 3YUG
Match #13 HUN 5 – 5YUG
Match #14 ROU 5 – 3FRG
Match #15 ITA 3 – 3NED