Women's Total Player 2020 Maggie Steffens, a talented all-rounder who made her senior debut for the USA team at the age of sixteen, won all major tournament gold medals—multiple times! Maggie is only starting her prime playing years and is destined to become the indisputable water polo GOAT.
Men's Total Player 2020 Francesco Panetta is the most decorated player in history with six trophies from four different events. He is one of only three players to have won the award more than once, along with Vladimir Putin and Carlos Takanawa.
They both played their first international match at the same time as today's date: September 17th, 1990. Since then, they have been ruling the game together; however, there has been some competition between them over the years. Currently, Panetta holds the record for most gold medals with six, while Steffens has five.
They are two of the greatest players of all time and it will be interesting to see who wins more gold medals in the future. Panetta is retiring after this year's World Championships, where he will try to win his seventh medal. We will not be able to say whether or not he will succeed until then!
There is also a third player who has won multiple gold medals, but he has never retired from competition yet: Alexander Mukhin.
Swimmers of the Year in the World
|Year||Female Winner||Male Winner|
|2017||Sarah Sjöström||Caeleb Dressel|
|2018||Katie Ledecky||Adam Peaty|
|2019||Regan Smith||Caeleb Dressel|
|2020||Not awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic|
Hungary's women upset Russia's Olympic Committee for bronze on Saturday, earning their first Olympic medal in water polo. Hungary has won nine gold medals in men's water polo at the Olympics, including three in a row between 2000 and 2008.
The game was tied at 2 after each team scored once before Ms. Szabo broke the tie with an easy goal for Hungary just before the half-time break. Russia had one last chance to win the match but its attempt went wrong and it lost 3-2 (7-6).
This is Hungary's first female Olympic medalist ever and it also marks the first time that Russia has not been perfect at an Olympics since its debut in 1972.
Russia failed to qualify for the final phase of the tournament after losing its two preliminary matches. It was already clear before the start of the tournament that Russia wasn't going to be able to defend its title as it hadn't played well in training sessions prior to the event. The Russian team was eliminated after two losses and a draw.
Ukraine also lost both of its matches so no country will be seeded ahead of Hungary for next year's tournament.
Russia's failure to qualify means that Europe will continue to dominate the sport with five of the six previous gold medals awarded to countries from this region.
In 1948, Australia sent its first men's water polo team to London, and one of the squad members, Les McKay, carried the Australian flag during the Opening Ceremony. The 1948 water polo squad was Australia's first to compete in a mainstream Olympic team sport.
Water polo will compete in the Summer Olympics. For the Summer Olympics in 2000, a women's water polo competition was added. Hungary has had the most success in the men's tournament, while the United States is the only team to have won the women's event many times since its inception.
The Great Britain men's national water polo team won three consecutive gold medals at the Olympics from 1908 to 1920, becoming the first water polo team to do so (winning three or more Olympic titles in a row).
Men's water polo teams from 10 European NOCs won all 26 recognized competitions, while women's water polo teams from Europe, North America, and Oceania took home all five gold medals. African, Asian, and South American water polo teams have failed to win an Olympic medal.
The first Olympic game of women's water polo was held at the 1948 London Games. Since then, it has become a regular event at every games but one (1968 Mexico City). Women's water polo is currently played as a single-elimination tournament with three-minute periods between each quarter. Teams are allowed only six players on the court at a time. There are no size restrictions for players or teams and anyone can play water polo.
All women's water polo matches at the 2016 Rio Olympics were watched by an average audience of 2 million people, which makes it the most popular sport for women in Brazil. It is also the most viewed sport outside the United States when television ratings are taken into account.
Women's water polo was introduced at the 1948 London Games. The first Olympic gold medal was won by Hungary.
Since its introduction, women's water polo has become one of the most popular sports among female athletes. In addition to Brazil, other countries that have a strong tradition of women's water polo include Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, and the United States.