The South African men’s Water Polo players made the world water polo powerhouse stand up and take notice, following their second match of the FINA World Championships in Kazan on Wednesday. Hungary, who are ranked first in the world, managed a 17 – 4 win against a powerful and determined SA side.
South Africa’s strong defensive system worked in their favor as Nicholas Molyneux scored on two occasions, while Nicholas Hock and Dayne Jagga netted one each.
Head coach Paul Martin says: ‘The team played some fantastic and disciplined Polo at stages. When they played with confidence and stuck to the defensive pattern, we looked good. We were an attacking threat for the majority of the game, which was a very big positive for us against the World Champions.’ The Hungarian team scored with goals from Danes Varga (five), Balazs Erdelyi (three), Balazs Harai (three), Gyorgy Vamos (two), Daniel Angyal (one), Marton Szivos (one), Norbert Hosnyanszky (one) and Krisztian Bedo (one).
This is Hungary’s second win of the Championships, having beaten Kazakhstan 14 – 5 on Monday. South Africa’s final group match will be on Friday morning against Kazakhstan, while Hungary will take on Argentina for a spot in the next round. In the 10m Platform Diving preliminaries, Jaimee Gundry finished 34th with 245.60 points.
Swimming South Africa CEO, Shaun Adriaanse, who is also in Kazan, had this to say on the team’s performance at the FINA World Championships thus far:
‘We are satisfied with the improved performances from the Aquatics team across the board. We have our synchronized swimmers and divers improving considerably from the 2013 Championships. Our Water Polo teams have seen the rise of really good young talent with the likes of Dayne Jagga and Ruby Versfeld for the men and women’s teams respectively, debuting with goal scoring performances. Of course the stand out performance came from Open Water Swimming with the gold medal from Chad Ho, with solid showing from Michelle Weber as well.’ The final pool matches in the women’s Water Polo competition will be held on Thursday with South Africa taking on Greece, while Chad Ho, Michelle Weber and Daniel Marais will race the 5km Team Open Water event.
Photo credit: Avril Reeves