8th May 2012
From the National League finals we flew home for a last night’s sleep in our own beds for a while before flying to London the next day. In London the Aussie Stingers competed in the ‘London Prepares’ test event, with games against Olympic qualified teams – Great Britain, Hungary and the USAOur first game was against the Brits, after much publicity of them claiming the Aussie’s to be the dirtiest team in women’s water polo – it even made the Australian papers. Photo below, and the article in The Weekend Australian at this link - http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/london-games/stingers-not-dirty-team-just-physical/story-e6frgdg6-1226347259310
I guess the Brits are so new to the game that they don’t really know what to expect, well they do now after we trounced them 10-4 in front of an almost full house of 4000 in the Olympic venue. Our next game was against our main rivals – the USA. We always have very tough matches, and this was no exception. The USA were the victors with a 10-9 win, which meant that we had to beat Hungary to get another shot at the USA in the gold medal match. The Hungarian game was a very high scoring affair, but we always felt comfortable with a few goals lead at each break. So then to the grand final – the business end of the tournament. The atmosphere was electric. The venue was packed out to 5000 people (mostly Brits who have only recently been introduced to water polo, but were as boisterous as ny supporter). The USA got a great start and we were trailing by two goals, but by sticking to our plan we chipped away at them and gained the lead by the first quarter break. We never gave the lead up and won in a 6-5 victory. It was a great feeling, winning in the Olympic venue and singing the national anthem with our gold medals and Olympic mascot as a gift. Now we just have to repeat this in two months time!
No rest for the wicked, we went straight from the Grand Final to Heathrow airport to catch a plane to Tokyo via Singapore (I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either). We have a round of World League against the Japanese and Chinese this week in Chiba.
I will hopefully bring you some more good results in the next instalment!!
Sayonara for now.