Water polo: Mighty Hungary resurfaces in bid for gold
By Sarah Young
LONDON (Reuters) - Water polo heavyweights Hungary hammered the United States 11-6 on Monday to end the group stage on a high and show their rivals they will not relinquish their Olympic title without a fight.
Hungary, the most successful country in Olympic water polo and aiming for their fourth consecutive gold medal, opened the London tournament with losses to Serbia and then Montenegro, but recovered with wins over Britain and Romania, while defeat of the Americans showed there was plenty of life left.
"This is definitely the Hungary team of old," said U.S. captain Tony Azevedo, who was part of the team that lost in the Beijing final to Hungary.
Hungary's charismatic goalkeeper Zoltan Szecsi said the Olympic water polo tournament had now started for real.
"It's an easy trap, to play very well at the beginning and to get blown up by the end," he said, perhaps in a swipe at fierce rivals Serbia, who won Group B on the back of an unbeaten run.
"We are old, and we are the foxes," Szesci said.
"You know the tale of the fox and the bird with the cheese? The bird has the cheese and fox says, 'You sing very well. Oh yes? Yes, please sing for me. Lalala, and the cheese falls for the fox.'"
Serbia, who have dominated water polo's biggest competitions over the last four years but are still missing an Olympic gold, demolished Romania 12-4 earlier to win their group, which gave the team confidence, said Serbia's Filip Filipovic. Continued...