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World Water Polo in Dubai

posted on 28/05/2014: 2288 views

Water sports at world best returns to the city when the $345,000 prize money Men's World Water Polo League Super Finals will be held from June 16-21 at the iconic Hamdan Sports Complex, off the Emirates Highway (formerly Dubai bypass road).

This is the first time a water polo event of this rating will be staged in Dubai. The championship is the global annual competition for the sport and one of the most prestigious and sought after titles in the sport, after the Olympic Games and World Championships.

The World League began in 2002 and is the water polo equivalent to the Swimming World Cup and Diving World Series, which have been hosted in Dubai since 2011.

The top eight men's teams in the world will contest the Super Finals, after winning their way through preliminary rounds which commenced in November last year. The teams will now play in Dubai which will determine the overall League winner for 2014.

The women's equivalent will be held in China.

The eight teams comprise the winners of each of the three groups in the European preliminaries; the top four placed teams in the Intercontinental Tournament; and the host nation. If, as is the case in the UAE, there is no national team, the fifth place getter from the Intercontinental Tournament will take the host nation's place.

The European representatives have already been decided, after a demanding six round competition between 10 of the strongest teams in the world, the three medallists from last year's World League will again appear in the finals.

The 2013 Super League winners Serbia will meet the 2013 World Championships gold medallists and 2013 Super League silver medallists, Hungary, with last year's bronze medallist Montenegro taking the third spot in the finals.

The strength of the European preliminaries was such that 2012 Olympic Gold medallists Croatia and silver medallists Italy were eliminated.

The Intercontinental Tournament to determine the other five nations competing will be held from May 27- June 1 in China, between countries from Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania.

The competition will be as hotly contested as the European preliminaries, with Canada, China, Kazakhstan, Japan, Australia, the US, and Brazil all vying for the chance to win the coveted World League title and the $100,000 winner's cheque. In November 2012 local sports fans had their first taste of international water polo during the Asian Championships which saw China win a thrilling final against Kazakhstan.

"We are thrilled to be welcoming the best water polo players in the world to Dubai next month, the competition is Olympic standard and we look forward to witnessing an exciting display of excellence in this demanding sport” said Dr Ahmad Al Sharif, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council.

Ahmed Al Falasi, President of the UAE Swimming Federation and Organising Committee Chairman, said "We are very much looking forward to hosting this event which is another important step in our long term programme to develop water polo in the UAE, while providing a great spectacle for sports fans.” – Khaleej Times – Read more:§ion=nationsports


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