The benefit of the 16 & Under age group was typified by final results where matches went down to the wire and international careers were started. The quality of the matches and the improvement in the teams throughout the week-long tournament, which sometimes required several matches a day, proved the decision by FINA to play this age group was on the button. The need to include this division in the calendar brings so many more teams to the party, including the likes of Latvia, Azerbaijan and Switzerland, to name a few. The lower-ranked matches were just as eagerly fought as those in the top division.

Platinum Classification 1-2:

The fairytale for Greece was not to be as Hungary asserted its age-group dominance for both boys and girls. These were the best two teams all week and it was no surprise they were challenging for the title. The quality of the play was evidenced by the fact there were only three extra-man goals. The shooters took their chances in the most unpredictable way at times and the notion that you need to score on extra to win matches, was not something these youngsters were told, obviously. Either team would have deserved the success, but the imbedded history of Hungary seemed to come through as nothing short of victory was going to be acceptable for the trip home. Both teams arrived at the final unbeaten and both had clutch matches en route.

Match heroes
Spytholean Karatzas
was the highest scorer with three, scoring off the left-post position for 7-7, tipping in an angled pass on a two-stroke drive at centre forward to close to 9-8 and then secured the 10-10 equaliser on another cross pass to his two-metres position. Andras Toth scored just the one goal for Hungary, but it was the winner when he audaciously stole the rebounded ball off the defender, worked his body around and rammed the ball home at 0:24 from deep left. Hungarian Zalan Nagy scored twice in the first half with go-ahead goals and was rewarded with Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Turning Point
The match was levelled at all the numbers to six, swung 9-7 to Hungary in the third before Greece levelled at nine, trailed by a goal at the final break and levelled 2:43 from time. The final swing went to Hungary.

Stats don’t lie
Greece scored two from seven on extra-man attack compared to Hungary’s one from three. The hurt of having a third-quarter penalty stopped denied Greece the chance to go 10-9 up.

Bottom line
Hungary has the pedigree and the victory will set these players up for a fine international career with the 18 & Under world championships next year the immediate aim. Greece was magical at times through the week with superb multi-pass goals and was probably the best team on extra-man attack, except for today where its brilliance faltered.

Gold Classification 1-2:

United States of America steamrolls Japan 12-4 courtesy of 6-0 opening quarter
Colt Bradley spearheaded USA to the gold medal and ninth position with three goals as USA demoralised the Japanese from the onset. However, it could not contain Kai Inoue who added three goals to his tournament-high tally of 31.

Silver Classification 1-2:

Georgia defeats Poland 11-10 for gold medal after being 3-0 up and 6-3 down in thriller
In a see-sawing match, Georgia led 3-1 at the quarter, trailed 6-4 at halftime, levelled at 7-7 by the final break and shot out to 10-8 and 11-9 to secure victory with captain Aleksandre Chkheidze leading the charge with four goals.


Most Valuable Player: Zalan Nagy (HUN)

Highest Goal-scorer: Kai Inoue (JPN) 31

Best Goalkeeper: Dimitrios Kratimenos (GRE)

Final Rankings:

1. Hungary (Platinum Div Gold)
2. Greece (Platinum Div Silver)
3. Serbia (Platinum Div Bronze)
4. Montenegro
5. Italy
6. Spain
7. Croatia
8. Turkey
9. United States of America (Gold Div Gold)
10. Japan (Gold Div Silver)
11. Brazil (Gold Div Bronze)
12. Malta
13. Australia
14. Germany
15. Egypt
16. Slovenia
17. Georgia (Silver Div Gold)
18. Poland (Silver Div Silver)
19. Ukraine (Silver Div Bronze)
20. South Africa
21. Kazakhstan
22. Switzerland
23. Portugal
24. Latvia
25. Azerbaijan


All Results

Platinum Classification 1-2
Greece 10 Hungary 11 (2-2, 4-3, 3-5, 1-1).

Platinum Classification 3-4
Montenegro 13 Serbia 14 (2-3, 5-5, 5-3, 1-3).

Platinum Classification 5-6
Spain 9 Italy 11 (3-3, 3-4, 2-1, 1-3).

Platinum Classification 7-8
Croatia 14 Turkey 7 (3-2, 3-2, 2-2, 6-1).

Gold Classification 1-2
Japan 4 United States of America 12 (0-6, 2-2, 1-4, 1-0)

Gold Classification 3-4
Brazil 9 Malta 7 (5-2, 1-2, 0-2, 3-1)

Gold Classification 5-6
Australia 9 Germany 5 (2-3, 2-0, 3-1, 2-1)

Gold Classification 7-8
Slovenia 3 Egypt 12 (1-2, 0-3, 1-2, 1-5)

Silver (Classification 1-2)
Poland v Georgia

Silver Classification 3-4
South Africa 4 Ukraine 6 (0-3, 2-2, 1-1, 1-0).

Silver Classification 5-6
Switzerland 5 Kazakhstan 7 (2-1, 0-3, 2-1. 1-2).

Silver Classification 7-8
Portugal 10 Latvia 8 (1-3, 3-3, 2-2, 4-0)