Croatia secured their first men's water polo Olympic gold medal with victory over Italy in the final this afternoon.

The Balkan outfit have been the outstanding side of the London 2012 tournament, with eight wins from eight matches, and end it as worthy champions.

Their dominance in defence was too much for the Italians, who are reigning world champions.

Croatia picked up a silver medal in Atlanta in 1996, and were part of former-Yugoslavia when they won three golds in the 1960s and 1980s.

However, since gaining independence in 1991, top spot on the podium has eluded them - until now.

They were not favourites coming into the Olympic tournament, but their devastating displays in Group A and the latter stages of the tournament have lit up the competition.

There were wild celebrations in the stands as well as the pool when the final whistle was blown, with players holding up flags in the water and pushing their coaches into the water.