2013 Women’s World League Super-Final
June 10, 2013 4 Comments
The 2013’s edition of the World League Super-Final for women held in Beijing was the first tournament in the new Olympic cycle where most of the top teams were present except Greece who are currently world champions.
In the course of my current duties as a consultant coach for the Russian team, I was able to watch some of the matches and can say that all participants took this tournament very seriously even though, for most, it was used as preparation for the world championships to be held Barcelona next month.
Some teams – China, USA, Spain and Italy – have made minor changes to their line-ups after the London Olympics. Whilst others, such as Canada, Russia, Australia and Hungary have started a process of rejuvenation in earnest with 40 to 70 percent changes in their teams’ composition. It was also the first major tournament for some newly appointed coaches for the Canadian, Russian and Chinese teams.
My overall impression is that all teams showed at times interesting water polo, however, the question remains how to return the game to what it was like 20 odd years ago with players judged on their technical finesse and tactical thinking rather than their ‘wrestling in the water’ ability.
In this vein, Chairman of FINA’s Technical Water Polo Committee, Gianni Lonzi, had an informal meeting with coaches to gage their opinions regarding ways of making the game speedier, more skilful and less violent. He was asked if there were going to be rule changes. The answer was ‘no since the current rules just need to be applied properly’.
The question of how to rid women’s water polo of grabbing swimming costumes when in contact with an opponent was also touched upon. If a solution is found, the real aspects of technique-tactical skills would flourish. Other suggestions from coaches were: to introduce daily assessments of referees at major international tournaments by TWPC using video material compiled by specially appointed experts; to allow teams to bring 15 players for events like World League since it would have been a good opportunity to blood new inexperienced players. Hopefully, positive solutions to all these questions will be found.
The gold medal match was played between hosts China and Russia. 27 seconds before the end of the match, when the score was 7 : 8 in favour of Chinese, the Russian team had a one-on-one chance but failed to take advantage of the opportunity. Had it been converted the final result could possibly have been different.
The final standing is: 1 -China, 2 – Russia, 3 – USA, 4 – Hungary, 5 – Spain, 6 – Italy, 7 – Australia, 8 – Canada