The men’s team of China and Kazakhstan’s women are the new champions of Asia.
Both teams inherited vacant thrones.
The tournament of the 2023 Asian Water Polo Championships finished in Singapore two days ago. But, the two teams that won the titles at the previous continental championships, held in Thailand in November– Japan (men) and China (women) didn’t compete.
The 2023 Asian Water Polo Championships served as the Asian tournament for the World Aquatics Water Polo World Cup Division 2. Japan’s men and China’s women are in Division 1, so they didn’t participate in the Singapore tournament.
Japan finished its participation in the men’s Division 1 just a week before the start of the Asian Championships. By winning 5th place in the group in Zagreb, it secured itself a spot in Division 1 in the next edition of the World Cup. The female team of China will play in Division 1 of the female World Cup in April.
Although the best teams were missing, there were a lot of exciting games.
Eight teams competed in the men’s tournament of the 2023 Asian Water Polo Championships. China took the gold medal after defeating Iran in the final. Both teams will compete in the final tournament of the World Cup Division 2 in Berlin in May.
The women’s tournament with four teams was held in a double round-robin format, with Kazakhstan coming out on top with six wins in six games. Thailand qualified for the world tournament of Division 2 in Berlin, along with Kazakhstan.
2023 Asian Championships, Singapore
The male teams were split into two groups in the first stage of the men’s tournament. China, led by European coaches Petar Porobic and Ivan Asic, dominated Group A and won 1st place with three convincing wins.
Iran and Kazakhstan were too strong for the other two rivals in Group B – Hong Kong and the Philippines. But, their encounter on Day 2, which decided 1st place in the group, was a real thriller. After 32 minutes of play, the score was 10:10, and the match entered a penalty shootout. Iran was better in a shootout and emerged as a winner with a 15:14 victory, taking revenge for a defeat in the bronze-medal match at the 2022 Asian Championships.
Day 1: Uzbekistan – Thailand 9:17, Singapore – China 1:23
Day 2: Uzbekistan – China 8:23, Singapore – Thailand 16:18 (PSO)
Day 3: Thailand – China 5:22, Uzbekistan – Singapore 10:11
1.China 3 games – 9 points
2.Thailand 3 – 5
3. Singapore 3 – 4
4. Uzbekistan 3 – 0
Day 1: Hong Kong – Iran 2:15, Kazakhstan – Philippines 19:6
Day 2: Hong Kong – Philippines 15:14, Kazakhstan – Iran 14:15 (PSO)
Day 3: Hong Kong – Kazakhstan 7:22, Iran – Philippines 25:5.
1.Iran 3 – 8
2.Kazakhstan 3 – 7
3. Hong Kong 3 – 3
4. Philippines 3 – 0
There were no surprises in the quarterfinals. As for the semifinals, Iran easily beat Thailand, but the surprise was a big margin in the match between China and Kazakhstan. China let its rival score only one goal in a 10:1 win.
Iran took a great start in the final against China and earned a 4:0 lead. However, the Chinese consolidated themselves, they took control and won the gold medal with a 10:8 victory.
Kazakhstan deserved bronze, beating Thailand in the 3rd-place match.
Thailand – Hong Kong 21:9
Uzbekistan – Iran 8:18
Singapore – Kazakhstan 7:10
China – Phillippines 27:4
Iran – Thailand 20:9
China – Kazakhstan 10:1
Bronze medal match
Kazakhstan – Thailand 18:7
China – Iran 10:8
5th-8th place semifinals: Hong Kong – Uzbekistan 11:12, Singapore – Philippines 18:6
5th-place match: Uzbekistan – Singapore 11:12.
7th-place match: Philippines – Hong Kong 12:10.
Kazakhstan dominated the female tournament and won 1st place, keeping a perfect record – six wins in as many games.
The battle of the remaining three teams, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Singapore, for 2nd place was open until the end. Almost all matches between these rivals were close contests. Thailand beat Uzbekistan 10:9 and Singapore 9:4 in the second half of the tournament and climbed to 2nd place.
Day 1: Thailand – Uzbekistan 13:16, Singapore – Kazakhstan 7:12.
Day 2: Kazakhstan – Thailand 16:10, Uzbekistan – Singapore 11:10
Day 3: Kazakhstan – Uzbekistan 11:9, Thailand – Singapore 8:6
Day 4: Thailand – Uzbekistan 10:9, Singapore – Kazakhstan 2:13
Day 5: Kazakhstan – Thailand 13:8, Uzbekistan – Singapore 7:8
Day 6: Kazakhstan – Uzbekistan 12:6, Thailand – Singapore 9:4.
1. Kazakhstan 6 – 18
2. Thailand 6 – 9
3. Uzbekistan 6 – 6
4. Singapore 6 – 3
More articles about the World Cup and the former World League.