In day-three action, the highlight of the day was to be the final encounter between host Colombia and 2009 champion Kuwait — both unbeaten.

It failed to live up to expectations as Colombia was so dominant and Kuwait played negatively in the second half, throwing the ball away on attack and in the final quarter repeated the dumping action on almost every attack in the 15-5 result.

Colombia held the quarter-time advantage at 4-3, increased it to 9-5 at halftime and then shut Kuwait out of the match with 4-0 and 2-0 quarters.

It was expected to produce plenty of sparkle, but Colombia’s stronger and inventive attack made it hard for Kuwait to keep up the inspiration. The continual dumping was an unusual sight in any match, let alone an international. Perhaps Kuwait was saving itself for the coming days? Steven Sanchez netted four goals for Colombia and eight team-mates also made the scoresheet. There were five different scorers for Kuwait.

In the first men’s match, Puerto Rico beat Venezuela 14-7 for its first victory in Barranquilla and thus third ranking.

The 7-2 halftime score, achieved with a 3-0 second quarter, set Puerto Rico up for its first victory and gives it some hope in the semifinal clash with Kuwait. For Venezuela there is something to take back to the hotel and that’s losing the second half by just two goals — 7-5. Jafet Hernandez (PUR) and Jondor Perdomo (VEN) top-scored with three apiece.

In the women’s matches, unbeaten Thailand was upset by Puerto Rico 11-8 and slipped to third position after a win and a draw in earlier encounters. It was Puerto Rico’s second win and snatched the No 2 spot, although these teams meet again in the semifinals on Friday.

The difference was the third period, which Puerto Rico won 3-0 after trailling by a goal at the long break. That advantage helped as it edged out to 9-6 and 10-7 to keep Thailand at bay.

Melania Guzman, who scored eight goals on day two, was again the strikeforce with her aggressive centre-forward play and general dominance in the pool, scoring four goals. Andrea Cardona, also struck home four. For Thailand, Kornkarn Rueangpongsakul and Chayaran Khamyoo netted twice.

In the second match, Colombia was too good for winless Venezuela, finishing 12-5, and taking out top slot with five points. Ironically, these teams will also meet again in the semifinals where the result should not be dissimilar.

Colombia smothered Venezuela with its tight defence, although the latter was resilient and proved that it is getting better with each match. Defiantly, it scored the last goal from top right.

Susana Atehoitua was exemplary with six goals for Colombia while Samantha Torres kept her side afloat with three.

Day-four semifinals have the women repeating their Thursday matches and Colombia men take on lowest-ranked Venezuela and Kuwait faces a rejuvenated Puerto Rico.

Thursday results:
Men: Puerto Rico 14 Venezuela 7 (4-2, 3-0, 5-3, 2-2), Kuwait 5 Colombia 15 (3-4, 2-5, 0-4, 0-2).
Women: Thailand 8 Puerto Rico 11 (3-3, 3-2, 0-3, 2-3), Colombia 12 Venezuela 5 (4-1, 3-1, 4-2, 1-1).

Final points:
Men: Colombia 6, Kuwait 4, Puerto Rico 2, Venezuela 0.
Women: Colombia 5, Puerto Rico 4, Thailand 3, Venezuela 0.

Friday schedule:
14:00, W, 2W Puerto Rico v 3W Thailand
15:30, W, 1W Colombia v 4W Venezuela
17:00, M, 2M Kuwait v 3M Puerto Rico
18:30, M, 1M Colombia v 4M Venezuela