Rio 2016: Local clubs put water polo facilities to the test
The main pool at the new Olympic Aquatics Stadium was put through its paces once again on 25-29 April, but this time with the focus switching from swimming to water polo.
A four-team tournament, featuring club teams from Rio, and serving as the official water polo test event, focused on a variety of aspects including the procedure for the medals ceremony and the Omega scoreboard.
Teams from Flamengo, Botafogo, Tijuca Tênis Clube and Escola Naval took part in the tournament, with the gold medal going to the former.
Khosrow Amini, the Vice President of water polo for FINA, declared himself to be pleased with the outcome.”
The Olympic water polo tournament will take place on 6-20 August.
The men’s tournament will feature 12 teams, while the women’s will comprise eight teams. Both competitions will feature two initial group stages with teams playing each other in a round-robin format.
The early stages will take place outdoors, at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre, before the competition moves inside to the Olympic Aquatics stadium for the knockout stages on 14 August, once the swimming competitions have finished.
The draws for both men’s and women’s tournaments took place on 10 April in Trieste (ITA) following the completion of the FINA Men’s Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, which was won by traditional powerhouses Hungary, who confirmed their status as among the favourites for gold in Rio.
The Hungarians, who with nine golds, are the most successful water polo team in Olympic history, will line up in Group A alongside Serbia, Greece, Brazil, Australia and Japan, while Group B will be contested by the USA, Spain, France, Montenegro, Italy and Croatia.
The group stage will take the form of a round-robin competition with the top four teams from each of the two groups progressing to the knockout stages.
In the women’s competition, Italy, Russia, Australia and Brazil will play in Group A, while Spain, China, Hungary and the USA will form Group B. All eight teams will progress to the knock-out stage, with the group rankings deciding who plays who.