Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Water Polo Studs: Ex-Yugoslavia

Former Yugoslavia (now 7 counties if you count Kosovo)
I know this is kind of cheating, but come on, Yugoslavia was clearly the land of stud Water Polo players.
Yugoslavia won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Olympics and the 1988 Olympics - then the country dissolved after Tito passed away, and no medals in 1992...
But then in 1996 Croatia won a silver.  In 2000 Serbia & Montenegro (competing as "Yugoslavia") won a a Silver.  In 20 04 Serbia & Montenegro - competing as that, won a silver and in 2008, Serbia won a bronze.
This year 3 of the 12 competing nations are Croatia, Montenegro & Serbia (who have all won a world championship since 2007).  That is ex-Yugoslavia getting 3 teams of the 11 spots (1 goes to the host).
So here they are:
2007 World Champs - Croatia
No "Worlds" in 2008 - Montenegro, European Champs
World Champs in 2009 - Serbia.
All three teams qualified for the London games, along with the USA (Pan-American winner), Great Britain (host), Italy & Hungary (other FINA World Championship qualifiers), Kazakhstan (Asia winner), Australia (Oceania winner) and Spain, Greece & Romania (qualified via tournament).


Ralph Lauren Polo from Wisconsin said...

When I was in the 6th grade my homeroom teacher went to the Olympics in Montreal. He told us how he went to the H20 Polo match between Yugoslavia and some other team. He said it was so rough that they had to drain the pool aftewards. Apparently the two teams beat each other up enough that the water was a little murky because many of the guys had cuts that discolored the water with their blood. Ick and Yuck and Ick again. That image has stuck with me all those years. I think the sport has evolved quite a bit since then.

Izod Polo from Wisconsin said...

Also...re: Montreal in '76:
The story also involves the entire arena chanting Yu - Go - Slavia,...Yu - Go - Slavia,....(kinda like the U-S-A, U-S-A chant) and it totally intimidated the other team.

I guess those folks in that part of Eastern Europe love their H20 Polo

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