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Day 1: Goals against nerves in the opening of the World Women’s Junior Championship in Funchal

by ZwemZa on September 10th, 2019

“They are the stars of the future”, Julio Cesar Maglione said during the opening ceremony of the World Women’s Junior Championship. And the players responded to the prediction of FINA president with goals and games full of emotions.

Russia, the defender of the title, showed its intentions to win the tournament again with a great victory against Portugal. Greece, Hungary, Italy and China also won on the first day of competition at the Funchal Swimming Olympic Complex. Spain and the Netherlands, also candidates for the medals, staged a thrilling pulse that ended in a draw, as did the United States-Japan.

At the end of the day, meanwhile, Brazil beat Kazakhstan.

The preliminary round, with three games to be played between Monday and Wednesday, began with excitement. There were many nerves, typical in the debut in a great championship, but at the same time hopeful accutations in this event, played by 16 national teams.

In Group A, Hungary stands out in the first place thanks to its victory over the Australian national team. The victory was adjusted, by 10-9, but it places Hungary in a good position to be the leader of its group since Japan and the United States tied (11-11).

With a draw, the Netherlands and Spain also opened their fight in Group B. The good start of the Spanish players was neutralized by their rivals, so each team added a point. Brazil sleeps leader of Group B after the first day. Brazil won (15-10) in the last turn of the day to Kazakhstan. The match should be played on the third morning shift, but the late arrival of Kazakhstan to Madeira forced the organization to postpone it until 9:15 pm.

The high point of the day came with Portugal-Russia. The host team lost in front of the current champion, by 3-24, in the most anticipated match by Portuguese fans. Russian superiority was evident, but Portugal earned experience in a major international event. This Tuesday, Russia will face Italy, winner of its match against South Africa.

In Group D, meanwhile, Greece and China added their first three points by defeating New Zealand and Canada.
Greece signed a solid start, with 15 goals in favor and 9 goals against New Zealand. China, on the other hand, scored three goals against Canada.

Progress points:

Group A: Hungary 3, Japan 1, United States 1, Australia 0

Group B: Brazil 3, Netherlands 1, Spain 1, Kazakhstan 0

Group C: Russia 3, Italy 3, South Africa 0, Portugal 0

Group D: Greece 3, China 3, Canada 0, New Zealand 0

Monday Schedule:

Match 1, 9:00, Group A, HUNGARY 10 AUSTRALIA 9

Match 2, 10:20, Group A, UNITED STATES 11 JAPAN 11

Match 4, 11:40, Group B, NETHERLANDS 12 SPAIN 12

Match 5, 16:00, Group C, SOUTH AFRICA 10 ITALY 16

Match 7, 17:20, Group D, GREECE 15 NEW ZEALAND 9

Match 8, 18:40, Group D, CANADA 9 CHINA 12

Match 6, 20:00, Group C, PORTUGAL 3 RUSSIA 24

Match 3, 21:15, Group B, BRAZIL 15 KAZAKHSTAN 10

Quarters: 3-2, 1-6, 2-3, 4-5

Referees: Asumi Nishihara (JPN) and Fiona Sharyn Haigh (AUS)


SOUTH AFRICA: Daniella Passoni, Paige Tancrel (2), Jennifer Everett (1), Boati Motau (1), Astrid Faustmann, Hanna Muller (1), Shakira January, Kate Hinrichs, Hanna Weppelman, Jordan Wedderburn (3), Chloe Meecham (1), Lucy Miszewski (1), Zanne Smit. Head Coach: Delaine Mentoor

ITALY: Nicole Zanetta (2), Anna Repetto (1), Giorgia Amedeo (1), Elena Borg, Lucrezia Cergol (4), Isabella Riccioli (2), Francesca Colletta (1), Carlotta Meggiato (3), Agnese Cocchiere (2), Marzia Imperatrice. Head Coach: Paolo Zizza

After a start with startles, with South Africa winning 3-2 at the end of the first quarter, the Italian team reacted and put a more logical result on the score: 10-16. The feeling, however, in Italy was of some dissatisfaction with its game. South Africa put Italy in trouble. Beyond the second quarter, that Italy leaded 1-6, in fact, the partial markers were fairly even (3-2, 2-3 and 4-5). In any case, Italy started the World Championship with a victory and looks ahead.

Delaine Mentoor (RSA) – Head Coach

“We are very happy with the result, I mean, we expected to lose but I think that the girls played really well. Their behaviour was brilliant against a experienced Italian team. I think that we can be proud of our result. We actually came with no expectations. We want to improve our results from two years ago and hopefully we can get a win on the bag. There are no expectitions because the team needs to grow and get better game by game. Being here is brilliant because it is the highest level for us. Being here is massive for us”

Paolo Zizza (ITA) – Head Coach

“It wasn’t a good match. We didn’t play with the necessary intensity. People think that South Africa is not a good team, but the match demonstrated a different thing. We have to improve our game and our mentality. The beginning of the match was really difficult. We are waiting the arrival of some players and maybe this situation wasn’t good for the game. I expect that on Tuesday we play better than we did today”

Lucia Santiago, FINA Press Correspondent from Portugal

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