It has been 22 years since the previous World Water Polo Championships in Fukuoka, and the upcoming championships are set to begin on Sunday in Japan.
Many of the players who will be competing this year were not yet born during the previous championships.
However, there is one athlete who will be playing for the second time at the WCH water polo tournament in Fukuoka.
In 2001, 15-year-old Felipe Perrone was on Brazil’s team at the 9th FINA World Championships in Fukuoka alongside his older brother Ricardo. Brazil finished in 12th place.
Felipe Perrone went on to represent Brazil in the next championships, in Barcelona in 2003, where the South Americans finished in 13th place. After that, both brothers moved to Spain and began winning medals with the Spanish team.
I Ricardo’s 17-year-old son Tomas is Felipe’s teammate in Barceloneta today. Tomas Perrone was on Spain’s roster for the World U20 Championships in Otopeni, where his team won 5th place.
During his amazing career, Felipe Perrone has won four World Championships medals with Spain (gold in 2022, silvers in 2009 and 2019, and bronze in 2007).
Before the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Perrone rejoined the Brazilian national team. He represented Brazil for the third time in the WCH in Kazan in 2015, when this nation achieved its best-ever result at the World Championships by finishing in 10th place. After the 2016 Olympics, Felipe Perrone decided to play for Spain again.
The 2018 Total Player Award winner arrived in Fukuoka this time with much greater ambitions than 22 years ago. Spain aims to defend the gold medal from last year’s championships in Budapest. Just to remind you, Spain was the winner of the 2001 World Championships male water polo tournament.
“I think we are really prepared and confident, especially here in Fukuoka. Looking back over 22 years, it’s amazing to see how the city has developed and how this event has developed – so thank you very much World Aquatics. ’Arigato gozaimas’ to Fukuoka. It’s a pleasure to be here and I think we’re going to show the world our best and I hope you enjoy it.”, Perrone said at today’s opening press conference (quote source World Aquatics’ press release).
For more news and the schedule about the upcoming Worlds, visit Total Waterpolo’s 2023 World Championships page.