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Water Polo, Men

Date23 September – 1 October 2000
StatusOlympic
LocationSydney International Aquatic Centre, Olympic Park, Sydney, New South Wales / Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre, Ryde, New South Wales
Participants153 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches.

The 2007 World Championship had come down to a Croatia-Hungary final, with Croatia prevailing, 9-8. In 2005 Hungary had also lost the final of the World Championship to another remnant of Yugoslavia, this time Serbia & Montenegro. Since World War II, Hungary and Yugoslavia had been the top water polo powers in the world, with Hungary winning Olympic medals at 12 straight Olympics from 1928-80. But the Soviet-led boycott of 1984 had knocked them from their perch and Hungary had not won an Olympic medal since 1980.

That changed in Sydney, although they lost two matches in group play. But they qualified for the quarter-finals where they easily defeated Italy, 8-5, moving onto a match against their arch-rivals, Serbia & Montenegro, or what was remaining of Yugoslavia. Both semi-finals were close, Hungary winning 8-7, and Russia eliminating Spain by the same score. The final would come down to Hungary and Russia, best known for their historic 1956 match, which ended in a bloody brawl shortly after the Soviet Union had invaded Hungary. That match had ended in a 4-0 Hungarian victory but the 2000 final was not even that close. Hungary was well ahead after each period – 3-1, 8-2, 10-4 – finally winning 13-6 for their first Olympic water polo gold medal since 1976 in Montréal.

Defending Olympic champion Spain lost the bronze medal match to Serbia & Montenegro, 8-3. That was the final Olympic appearance for their star, Manuel Estiarte, competing in his sixth Olympics. Usually considered, along with Hungarian Dezső Gyarmati, as one of the two greatest water poloists ever, Estiarte had led the Olympic tournament scoring in 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992, and finished his Olympic career with 126 goals in 45 matches.

PosCompetitor(s)NOC
1HungaryHUNGold
Tibor BenedekPéter BirosRajmund FodorTamás KásásGergő KissZoltán KószTamás MärczTamás MolnárBarnabás SteinmetzZoltán SzécsiBulcsú SzékelyZsolt VargaAttila Vári
2Russian FederationRUSSilver
Aleksandr YeryshovDmitry DuginDmitry GorshkovDmitry StratanIrek ZinnurovMarat ZakirovNikolay KozlovNikolay MaksimovRevaz ChomakhidzeRoman BalashovSergey GarbuzovYury Yatsev
3YugoslaviaSCGBronze
Aleksandar ŠapićAleksandar ŠoštarAleksandar ĆirićDanilo IkodinovićDejan SavićJugoslav VasovićNenad VukanićNikola KuljačaPetar TrbojevićPredrag ZimonjićVeljko UskokovićViktor JelenićVlada Vujasinović
4SpainESP
Daniel BallartManuel EstiartePedro GarcíaSalvador GómezGabriel HernándezGustavo MarcosDaniel MoroIván MoroSergio PedrerolJesús Miguel RollánJavier SánchezJordi Sans
5ItalyITA
Alberto AngeliniAlberto GhibelliniAlessandro CalcaterraAmedeo PomilioAntonio VittoriosoCarlo SilipoFabio BencivengaFrancesco AttolicoFrancesco PostiglioneLeonardo BinchiLeonardo SottaniRoberto CalcaterraStefano Tempesti
6United StatesUSA
Brad SchumacherChi KredellChris HumbertChris OedingDan HackettGavin ArroyoKyle KoppRobert LynnRyan BaileySean KernSean NolanTony AzevedoWolf Wigo
7CroatiaCRO
Alen BoškovićDubravko ŠimencElvis FatovićFrano VićanIgor HinićIvo IvanišMile SmodlakaOgnjen KržićRatko ŠtritofSamir BaračSiniša ŠkolnekovićVišeslav SarićVjekoslav Kobešćak
8AustraliaAUS
Sean BoydEddie DenisAndriy KovalenkoDaniel MarsdenCraig MillerTim NeeshamMark ObermanRod Owen-JonesRafael SterkNathan ThomasGrant WatermanThomas WhalanGavin Woods
9KazakhstanKAZ
Aleksandr ElkeAleksandr ShvedovArtemy SevostyanovAskar OrazalinovDenis ZhivchikovIgor ZagoruykoIvan ZaytsevKonstantin ChernovRoman ChentsovSergey DrozdovYevgeny ProkhinYevgeny ZhilyayevYury Smolovoy
10GreeceGRE
Antonios VlontakisDimitrios MazisFilippos KaiafasGeorgios AfroudakisGeorgios MavrotasGeorgios PsykhosGeorgios ReppasIoannis ThomakosKonstantinos LoudisNikolaos DeligiannisTheodoros KhatzitheodorouTheodoros LorantosThomas Khatzis
11NetherlandsNED
Arie van de BuntArno HavengaBas de JongBjørn BoomBobbie BrebdeEelco UriGerben SilvisHarry van der MeerKimmo ThomasMarco BooijMatthijs de BruijnNiels Zuidweg
12SlovakiaSVK
Alexander NagyGejza GyurcsiJozef HrošíkJuraj ZaťovičKarol BačoMartin MravíkMichal GogolaMilan CipovPeter NižnýPeter VeszelitsRóbert KáidSergej CharinŠtefan Gergely

Preliminary Round (23 – 27 September 2000)

Group A (23 – 27 September 2000)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1Russian FederationRUS41095128
2ItalyITA41094332
3SpainESP21253234
4AustraliaAUS12243836
5KazakhstanKAZ11334146
6SlovakiaSVK00503059

Match #1 ITA 11 – 8SVK
Match #2 ESP 8 – 7KAZ
Match #3 RUS 6 – 4AUS
Match #4 ITA 7 – 7RUS
Match #5 ESP 7 – 6SVK
Match #6 AUS 11 – 11KAZ
Match #7 ITA 6 – 5ESP
Match #8 RUS 9 – 7KAZ
Match #9 AUS 11 – 6SVK
Match #10 RUS 8 – 5ESP
Match #11 KAZ 9 – 5SVK
Match #12 ITA 6 – 5AUS
Match #13 RUS 21 – 5SVK
Match #14 ITA 13 – 7KAZ
Match #15 AUS 7 – 7ESP

Group B (23 – 27 September 2000)

Round-robin pool.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1YugoslaviaSCG41094122
2CroatiaCRO41094230
3HungaryHUN30264939
4United StatesUSA20344239
5NetherlandsNED10423455
6GreeceGRE00502245

Match #1 HUN 7 – 4GRE
Match #2 SCG 9 – 1NED
Match #3 CRO 10 – 7USA
Match #4 HUN 16 – 8NED
Match #5 SCG 8 – 5USA
Match #6 CRO 9 – 5GRE
Match #7 USA 12 – 8NED
Match #8 CRO 8 – 7HUN
Match #9 SCG 10 – 3GRE
Match #10 HUN 10 – 9USA
Match #11 NED 10 – 7GRE
Match #12 CRO 4 – 4SCG
Match #13 SCG 10 – 9HUN
Match #14 CRO 11 – 7NED
Match #15 USA 9 – 3GRE

Quarter-Finals (29 September 2000)

Single-elimination.

Match #1 RUS 11 – 10USA
Match #2 HUN 8 – 5ITA
Match #3 ESP 9 – 8CRO
Match #4 SCG 7 – 3AUS

Classification Round 5-8 (30 September 2000)

Classification matches.

Match #1 USA 9 – 8CRO
Match #2 ITA 8 – 4AUS

Classification Round 9-12 (29 September – 1 October 2000)

Classification matches.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCWinsTiesLossesPointsGoals ForGA
1KazakhstanKAZ21052318
2GreeceGRE12042420
3NetherlandsNED11131920
4SlovakiaSVK00302432

Match #1 GRE 6 – 6KAZ
Match #2 NED 9 – 8SVK
Match #3 KAZ 11 – 8SVK
Match #4 GRE 6 – 6NED
Match #5 GRE 12 – 8SVK
Match #6 KAZ 6 – 4NED

Semi-Finals (30 September 2000)

Single-elimination.

Match #1 RUS 8 – 7ESP
Match #2 HUN 8 – 7SCG

Final Round (1 October 2000)

Medal round.

Match 1/2 HUN 13 – 6RUS
Match 3/4 SCG 8 – 3ESP
Match 5/6 ITA 10 – 8USA
Match 7/8 CRO 10 – 8AUS