Serbia lands Euro title as fans set world attendance record

Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:04pm EST
 
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BELGRADE (Reuters) - A world record crowd of 18,000 fans saw hosts Serbia win their third successive European water polo championship with a 10-8 win over neighbors Montenegro on Saturday, the European Acquatics Federation (LEN) said.

The attendance beat the competition record of 11,000 for Serbia's opening 13-6 win over Croatia, with the Kombank Arena's capacity expanded for the clash between the traditional Balkan rivals.

"According to the organizers, more than 18,000 watched the final of the 32nd European Championship, which is a new world record attendance in aquatics in the modern era," LEN said in a statement.

"Water polo reached unprecedented heights as all available seats in the venue were occupied and fans even stood on the terraces after the set-up had been transformed."

Serbia, who are also the world champions, overcame a one-goal deficit in a strong final quarter to delight a fervent home crowd after an entertaining tussle.

Having earlier booked a place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Serbia were joined by Montenegro who beat the more-fancied Hungary and Italy teams to reach the final.

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Tony Jimenez and Pritha Sarkar)

 
Serbia's Milan Aleksic celebrates his goal against Montenegro during the men's European Water Polo Championship gold medal match in Belgrade, Serbia January 23, 2016.  REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh