Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

Gwangju, South Korea.— United States of America gunned down Spain 11-6 for its third straight FINA World Championship women's water polo crown at the Nambu University Grounds in Gwangju tonight.

The unprecedented triple and a record sixth title since women entered the championships in 1986, when Australia was the winner, was expected and it delighted the fans.

USA previously won in 2009, 2007 and 2003. Spain, winner in Barcelona in 2013, lost the Budapest final 13-6 and many of the same players faced each other tonight.

Spain now has three medals while USA also has a silver and two bronzes.

In the bronze-medal final, Australia added another medal to its World Championship collection, beating Hungary 10-9 in a heart-stopping final period where either team could have won. The Aussie Stingers now have one gold, two silvers and two bronzes. 

At the press conference post-medal ceremony, two of the teams said they would be "having a few beers tonight" — but not USA!

Russia beat Italy for fifth with a 10-9 score where Italy drilled three consecutive goals, Russia responded with six and Italy made four before Russia scored the winner.

European champion Netherlands beat Greece 11-9 for seventh place with Maud Megens and Maartje Keuning scoring three each for the victor..

Each team member today was escorted to the pool deck by the Samsung Kids — children with various medical conditions and sponsored by Samsung. They are children of executives and employees from Samsung; of Gwangju Swimming Federation and the organising committee of the FINA World Championships.

Photos: Istvan Derencsenyi

Friday Women’s Schedule

Classification 7-8
Match 45, 14:00, GREECE 9 NETHERLANDS 11

Classification 5-6
Match 46, 15:30, RUSSIA 10 ITALY 9

Classification 3-4
Match 47, 17:00, AUSTRALIA 10 HUNGARY 9

Classification 1-2

Most Valuable Player
Roser Tarrago (ESP)  
Most Valuable Goalkeeper
Laura Ester (ESP)
Highest Goal Scorer
Rita Keszthelyi (HUN)              24 goals 

Media All Star Team

Laura Estes (ESP) — Goalkeeper
Aria Fischer (USA) — Centre Forward
Stephania Haralabidis (USA)
Rita Keszthelyi (HUN)
Maud Megens (NED)
Alena Serzhantova (RUS)
Rosa Tarrago (ESP)

Leading scorers:

Rita Keszthelyi (HUN)               24
Maud Megens (NED)                20
Yumi Arima (JPN)                     18
Greta Gurisatti (HUN)               18
Morgan McDowall (NZL)           17
Bernadette Doyle (NZL)            16
Dorottya Szilagyi (HUN)            16
Roser Tarrago (ESP)                  16
Rebecca Parkes (HUN)              15
Emma Wright (CAN)                 15
Beatriz Ortiz                            14
Kyra Christmas (CAN)              14
Judith Forca (ESP)                     14
Dora Leimeter (HUN)                14
Catherina Van Der Sloot (NED) 14
Rowie Webster (AUS)                14
Madeleine Musselman (USA)     13

Final rankings:

1.    United States of America
2.    Spain
3.    Australia
4.    Hungary
5.    Russia
6.    Italy
7.    Netherlands
8.    Greece
9.    Canada
10.  Kazakhstan
11.  China
12.  New Zealand
13.  Japan
14.  South Africa
15.  Cuba
16.  South Korea

Saturday Men’s Schedule

Classification 7-8
Match 45, 14:00, GERMANY v GREECE

Classification 5-6
Match 46, 15:30, SERBIA v AUSTRALIA

Classification 3-4
Match 47, 17:00, CROATIA v HUNGARY

Classification 1-2
Match 48, 18:30, SPAIN v ITALY