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Water polo at the Olympics

Updated: Wednesday, 27 Jun 2012 17:47

Gergely Kiss is Hungary's star performer
Gergely Kiss is Hungary's star performer

29 July to 12 August.

Gergely Kiss: Hungary's star player. The talismanic winger has helped his country dominate the game on the world stage for well over a decade. The 6ft 6in powerhouse has a rocket of a shot, and can fire in goals from distance with his left hand. His star appearance was in the final of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where Hungary beat Serbia and Montenegro. His debut on the Olympic stage was at the Sydney Games in 2000.

Hungary have been the most successful water polo team at the Olympics, claiming 15 medals, including nine golds. They won their first Games in 1932 and picked up medals in consecutive Games until 1980, including five golds, two silvers and three bronzes. They have dominated the last three Olympics, coming first in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Italy are in second place with seven medals, including four golds.

Water polo was invented in Great Britain and the country won gold at the Paris Games in 1900, the first Olympics in which the sport appeared. They dominated the next two decades at the Olympics, claiming first place in London 1908, Stockholm 1912 and Antwerp 1920. However, since then they have failed to pick up a medal of any colour.

At the 1956 Melbourne Games Hungary played the USSR shortly after the Soviets suppressed an uprising in Hungary. In the final minutes of the game, Hungarian player Ervin Zador was punched, leaving him with a bleeding gash on his face. The "Blood In The Water" match was won 4-0 by Hungary, who went on to beat Yugoslavia in the final to win gold.


Medal Table

Country Total
USA 45 27 30 102
China 38 28 23 89
Great Britain 29 17 19 65
Russia 25 25 32 82
South Korea 13 8 7 28
Ireland 1 1 3 5
Full Table

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