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Challengers’ Cup water polo set for Singapore debut

by ZwemZa on October 7th, 2019

New faces under a new banner will enjoy Singaporean hospitality with the men’s FINA Water Polo Challengers’ Cup starting on Tuesday.

Formerly known as the Development Trophy, instituted in 2007 and run every second year, the competition has had a chequered career and brought many a new water polo country to the international stage.

Previous winners have been Colombia (2007), Kuwait (2009), Saudi Arabia (2011), Uzbekistan (2013), Iran (2015) and Uruguay (2017).

This year, India, Indonesia (sixth in 2015), Ireland, Philippines (fourth in 2009), Austria (third in 2015), Chinese Taipei, Singapore (silver in 2009), Zimbabwe. Malaysia and Hong Kong will play under the FINA flag, many for the first time and a new champion will be crowned.

Of the six editions, only Austria has been a double medallist, collecting bronzes in 2015 and 2017.

While many have played in regional competitions, lifting to FINA status is what this tournament is all about.

The previous tournament was staged in Gzira, Malta and the outcome was a strange affair with the top two teams being suspended for verbal abuse during the last minute of the final, which was then abandoned.

Malta and Iran were denied a podium finish and Uruguay snapped up top spot with its formerly bronze-medal win over Saudi Arabia.

The bronze for 2017 went to Austria after winning a penalty shootout against Tunisia.

This year’s host, Singapore, is the only survivor from then, losing to Peru in another penalty shootout and ultimately taking sixth position, something it wishes to improve on this week and perhaps go one better than 2009 where it took out silver.

Matches will be played in the fantastic OCBC Aquatic Centre — which has previously hosted FINA World Cup swimming events — between 3-9pm daily with the Sunday finals between 10am-7.30pm.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

From → Aquatic News

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