August 2, 2013 / 10:39 PM / 6 years ago

Spanish women first to win world title at home

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spain became the first nation to win the water polo world title in home water when their women’s team secured a comfortable 8-6 victory against Australia in Barcelona on Friday.

Silver medalists behind the United States at last year’s London Olympics, Spain’s previous best at a world championships was seventh in Melbourne in 2007.

They fed off the raucous support from the home fans at the packed Picornell arena on the Montjuic hill and the end of the match sparked frenzied celebrations in and out of the pool.

“It is huge what we have done, huge, I am sorry I cannot talk properly,” captain Jennifer Pareja said in an interview with Spanish television as she fought back tears of joy.

“This team is really incredible, playing with people who give absolutely everything in each match,” she added before being told that she had been voted player of the tournament.

Hungary, the 2005 champions, won the bronze medal when they beat Russia 10-8 earlier on Friday.

“My team was physically and mentally strong after the semi-final loss against Spain and we deserved the victory,” Hungary coach Andras Meresz said.

Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Toby Davis

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