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Hungary defends Olympic title in men's water polo
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19:13, August 24, 2008

Defending Olympic champion Hungary outplayed the United States 14-10 to reassure the team's dominance in the men's water polo at the Yingdong Natatorium on Sunday.

"The last three years we were not successful as the two previous Olympic periods. This was the most difficult gold we have won. If you don't have success, you start to not believe," said Hungarian team head coach Denes Kemeny.


Players of Hungary pose for photos after winning men's water polo gold medal at the Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 24, 2008. (Xinhua/Wang Qingqin)

Kiss Gergely opened the goal for Hungary only after 37 seconds with an extra player shot but the American tied one minute later by the attempt of Peter Varellas. The two teams equalled until 4-4 with Hungary adding two more goals before the ending of the first quarter.

Hungary was chased tightly as the United States edged out in 4-3 in the second quarter, but the defending champions managed to push themselves forward with scores of 2-1 and 3-1 in the last two quarters.

"We never got into a rhythm defensively, and we couldn't stop them. We had a few chances and we scored the first few goals," said a disaappointed U.S team head coach Terry Schroeder. "It's painful as a player and a coach to be so close. My guys had a great run, and no-one expected us to come here."

It was Hungary's third consecutive Olympic gold, equalling Britain's record set in 1908, 1912 and 1920 Games. Hungary also becomes the most successful team in Olympic history as the European powerhouse totally won nine gold, three silver and three bronze medals.

"This is my dream. I am now an Olympic champion. I have been waiting my whole life for this," said Kis Gabor from the winning team.

About one hour earlier, three-time world league champions Serbia beat Montenegro 6-4 in the bronze medal match as the Serbia led 3-0 at the quarter and stretched the margin to 4-1 by half-time.

In other games on Sunday, Spain defeated world champions Croatia 11-9 to place fifth and Australia was edged by Greece 9-8 in the seventh and eighth match. Italy outplayed Germany 10-8 to take ninth place with Alessandro Calcaterra scoring five goals for the day to finish as the tournament's top shooter with 27 goals.

China lost to Canada 7-8 on Friday and placed 12th in the final ranking. The Chinese team has not won any match in the Games.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 51 21 28 100
2 USA 36 38 36 110
3 Russia 23 21 28 72
4 Great Britain 19 13 15 47
5 Germany 16 10 15 41
6 Australia 14 15 17 46
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