The World League Super Final that will end in Strasbourg tomorrow evening can be considered one of the milestones in the history of the competition.
Italy will face Spain while France will play against Team USA in the semifinals. None of the four teams has clinched a World League gold medal. A new name will be added to the all-winners list tomorrow. Only six teams have won the World League – Serbia (10), Montenegro (3), Serbia and Montenegro (2), Hungary (2), Croatia (1), and Russia (1). The list will increase tomorrow.
But, besides the medals and money awards, the World Championships berths are at stake in Strasbourg.
Two visas for the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka will be allocated in Strasbourg. The finalists will qualify for the next World Championships. But only one ticket is available after yesterday’s quarterfinals. France and the USA will battle for it. The other two semifinalists – Spain and Italy – had already booked their tickets for Fukuoka.
So far, five teams have qualified for the men’s tournament in Fukuoka: Spain, Italy,Greece, Croatia and Serbia.
What do the rules say?
According to the FINA by laws document, 16 teams that will play in the World Champions shall be selected in the following manner:
-The four (4) highest ranking teams from the preceding World Cup or Olympic Games, two (2) highest ranking teams from the preceding year’s World League, one (1) team from the host country and nine (9) teams from the five (5) continents to be selected through continental qualification tournaments or continental championships. The nine (9) teams from the continents shall be selected according to the following formula: Europe – 3; Americas – 2; Asia – 2; Africa – 1; and Oceania – 1.
-If any one of the teams qualified from the preceding year’s World League are in the first four (4) from the preceding World Cup or Olympic Games, the next ranked team from that World Cup or Olympic Games qualifies.
The preceding Olympic Games were the qualifications for the 2022 World Championships. The FINA World Cup, originally planned for this year, has been canceled because of a packed calendar. Therefore, the World Championships in Budapest served as a qualification tournament instead of the World Cup or the Olympic Games.
Spain won gold in the capital of Hungary, ahead of Italy, Greece, Croatia, Serbia, the USA, Hungary, Montenegro,etc
One of the first four teams from the WCH in Budapest (Italy or Spain) will play in the final in Strasbourg and qualify for Fukuoka as the World League finalist. That means that the top 5 from the Budapest Championships (Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia and Serbia) have already qualified for Fukuoka. France or the USA will join them this evening.
Other teams will have chances at continental competitions. As for Europe, only two powerhouses – Hungary and Montenegro haven’t qualified yet. Their next (and only) chance is the European Championships in Split.
World League Super Final, July 26
Semifinals 5th – 8th place
Montenegro Australia (14:00)
Serbia – Canada (16:00)
Semifinals 1st – 4th place
Italy – Spain (18:00)
France – USA (20:00)
All times are CET.