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Water Polo, Men

Date20 – 28 July 1996
StatusOlympic
LocationGeorgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Participants153 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches.

Hungary and Italy were the heavy favorites. Since Barcelona they had met in the final of every major event, save one. Italy defeated Hungary at the 1993 World Cup and European Championships, and the 1995 European Championships. Hungary defeated Italy in the final of the 1995 World Cup. Italy also won the 1994 World Championship, where Hungary slumped and only placed fifth. The two teams were drawn in opposite groups in Barcelona and both won all their matches to advance to the quarter-finals. There Hungary defeated Greece and Italy defeated Russia to move onto the semis, with Spain and Croatia also advancing. One quarter-final saw Croatia meet their arch-rivals, Serbia & Montenegro, or effectively what remained of Yugoslavia. The Croats hated the Serbs for what they had done to their country in the early 1990s, and gained a measure of revenge by defeating them, 8-6.

But somebody had forgotten to remind Spain and Croatia that Hungary and Italy were supposed to meet in the final. Spain faced Hungary, which had beaten them 8-7 in group play, but in the semi-finals, Spain eliminated the Magyars, 7-6. In the other semi-final, the score was the same, Croatia moving on to the final.

The final was close, with Croatia leading at halftime, 3-1, only to see Spain tie the match, 5-5, after the third period. In the final period, Spain scored twice to win the gold medal, 7-5. At the end of the match the ball was in the hands of their greatest player, Manuel Estiarte, who finally won a gold medal in his fifth Olympics. Italy won the bronze medal, defeating Hungary in overtime, 20-18.

PosCompetitor(s)NOC
1SpainESPGold
José María AbarcaDaniel BallartManuel EstiartePedro GarcíaSalvador GómezIván MoroMiki OcaJordi PayáSergio PedrerolJesús Miguel RollánJordi SansCarles Sanz
2CroatiaCROSilver
Perica BukićDamir GlavanIgor HinićVjekoslav KobešćakJoško KrekovićOgnjen KržićDubravko ŠimencSiniša ŠkolnekovićRatko ŠtritofTino VegarRenato VrbičićZdeslav Vrdoljak
3ItalyITABronze
Alberto AngeliniFrancesco AttolicoFabio BencivengaAlessandro BovoAlessandro CalcaterraRoberto CalcaterraMarco GeriniAlberto GhibelliniLuca GiustolisiAmedeo PomilioFrancesco PostiglioneCarlo SilipoLeonardo Sottani
4HungaryHUN
Tibor BenedekTamás DalaRajmund FodorAndrás GyöngyösiTamás KásásZoltán KószPéter KunaAttila MonostoriZsolt NémethFrank TóthLászló TóthZsolt VargaBalázs Vincze
5Russian FederationRUS
Dmitry ApanasenkoDmitry DuginSergey GarbuzovDmitry GorshkovSergey IvlevVladimir KarabutovIlya KonstantinovNikolay KozlovNikolay MaksimovAleksey PanfiliYury SmolovoyAleksandr YeryshovSergey Yevstigneyev
6GreeceGRE
Georgios AfroudakisThomas KhatzisTheodoros KhatzitheodorouSymeon GeorgarasFilippos KaiafasTheodoros KalakonasTheodoros LorantosKonstantinos LoudisGeorgios MavrotasTasos PapanastasiouVangelis PatrasGeorgios PsykhosGerasimos Voltyrakis
7United StatesUSA
Gavin ArroyoTroy Barnhart, Jr.Chris DuplantyMike EvansKirk EveristDan HackettChris HumbertKyle KoppJeremy LasterRick McNairChris OedingAlex RousseauWolf Wigo
8YugoslaviaSCG
Aleksandar ŠoštarPetar TrbojevićVaso SubotićPredrag ZimonjićIgor MilanovićAleksandar ŠapićMirko VičevićVeljko UskokovićDejan SavićViktor JelenićVlada VujasinovićRanko PerovićMilan Tadić
9GermanyGER
Raúl de la PeñaIngo BorgmannPiotr BukowskiOliver DahlerJörg DreselTorsten DreselDavor ErjavecMichael IlgnerDirk KlingenbergRené ReimannUwe SterzikLars TomanekDaniel Voß
10NetherlandsNED
Arie van de BuntGert de GrootArno HavengaKoos IssardBas de JongNiels van der KolkMarco KunzHarry van der MeerHans NieuwenburgJoeri StoffelsEelco UriWyco de Vries
11RomaniaROU
Edward AndreiFlorin BoncaRobert DinuNicolae FulgeanuVlad HagiuGelu LisacIstvan MoldvaiDaniel RaduBogdan RathRadu SabăuȘtefan SandaDinel StemateLiviu Totolici
12UkraineUKR
Dmytro AndriyevIhor HorbachVadym KebaloVitaliy KhalchaytskyiV'iacheslav KostandaAndriy KovalenkoOleksandr PotulnytskyiVadym RozhdestvenskyiVadym SkuratovAnatoliy SolodunDmytro StratanOleh VolodymyrovOleksiy Yehorov

Preliminary Round (20 – 24 July 1996)

Group A (20 – 24 July 1996)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1HungaryHUN500104738
2YugoslaviaSCG31174644
3SpainESP30263933
4Russian FederationRUS21254238
5GermanyGER10423645
6NetherlandsNED00503648

Match #1 SCG 11 – 8NED
Match #2 HUN 8 – 7RUS
Match #3 ESP 9 – 3GER
Match #4 RUS 9 – 9SCG
Match #5 HUN 9 – 8GER
Match #6 ESP 8 – 7NED
Match #7 RUS 10 – 8GER
Match #8 SCG 9 – 7ESP
Match #9 HUN 10 – 8NED
Match #10 SCG 9 – 8GER
Match #11 RUS 10 – 5NED
Match #12 HUN 8 – 7ESP
Match #13 HUN 12 – 8SCG
Match #14 ESP 8 – 6RUS
Match #15 GER 9 – 8NED

Group B (20 – 24 July 1996)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1ItalyITA500104838
2United StatesUSA40184537
3CroatiaCRO30265139
4GreeceGRE20343738
5RomaniaROU01413145
6UkraineUKR01413348

Match #1 CRO 8 – 5GRE
Match #2 ROU 6 – 6UKR
Match #3 ITA 10 – 7USA
Match #4 CRO 11 – 6ROU
Match #5 ITA 8 – 6UKR
Match #6 USA 9 – 7GRE
Match #7 GRE 8 – 5ROU
Match #8 ITA 10 – 8CRO
Match #9 USA 9 – 7UKR
Match #10 ITA 10 – 8GRE
Match #11 CRO 16 – 8UKR
Match #12 USA 10 – 5ROU
Match #13 GRE 9 – 6UKR
Match #14 ITA 10 – 9ROU
Match #15 USA 10 – 8CRO

Quarter-Finals (26 July 1996)

Single-elimination.

Match #1 HUN 12 – 8GRE
Match #2 CRO 8 – 6SCG
Match #3 ESP 5 – 4USA
Match #4 ITA 11 – 9RUS

Classification Round 5-8 (27 July 1996)

Classification matches.

Match #1 GRE 7 – 6USA
Match #2 RUS 16 – 15SCG

Classification Round 9-12 (26 – 28 July 1996)

Classification matches.

Match #1 GER 10 – 4UKR
Match #2 NED 10 – 8ROU
Match #3 GER 9 – 6NED
Match #4 ROU 11 – 8UKR
Match #5 NED 9 – 9UKR
Match #6 GER 10 – 6ROU

Semi-Finals (27 July 1996)

Single-elimination.

Match #1 CRO 7 – 6ITA
Match #2 ESP 7 – 6HUN

Final Round (28 July 1996)

Medal round.

Match 1/2 ESP 7 – 5CRO
Match 3/4 ITA 20 – 18HUN
Match 5/6 RUS 10 – 8GRE
Match 7/8 USA 12 – 8SCG