Medal chase: Water polo

Water polo is one of the roughest, toughest sports in the Olympics. You really don’t want to know what goes on below the surface. (OK, if you do, scroll to the video a little lower.)

The details:

Men’s event

water polo photo
Photo by The Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Traditional powers: Hungary, Russia, countries that used to be in Yugoslavia (Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro), Italy.

2012 Olympics: Croatia, Italy, Serbia (WP)

2013 World Championships: Hungary, Montenegro, Croatia (WP)

2015 World League: Serbia, Croatia, Brazil, USA, Australia, Hungary, Italy, China (FINA)

2015 World Championships: In progress. (WP)

2016 World League: June 21-26

Current projection (tbd after World Champs): 

USA medal chances: Fair


Women’s event

Traditional powers: USA, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Spain

2012 Olympics: USA, Spain, Australia (WP)

2013 World Championships: Spain, Australia, Hungary / USA 5th (WP)

2015 World League: USA, Australia, Netherlands, China, Russia, Canada, Italy, Brazil (FINA)

2015 World Championships: In progress. (WP)

2016 World League: June 7-12

Current projection (tbd after World Champs):

USA medal chances: Very good 

Water polo facts

Official site: Unnavigable.

Olympic qualification: Through regional tournaments and a last-chance event. The U.S. men qualified through the 2015 Pan Am Games. The women’s tournament only takes eight teams, and host country Brazil is considered the representative of the Americas regardless of the Pan Am results (the USA won), so the USA will have to go to the qualification tournament March 21-28 in the Netherlands. (FINA)

We did warn you about the underwater action. And we’re not even showing you what men do to each other.



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