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SA water polo women put up brave fight against Greece

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By Mark Etheridge

The national women’s water polo side wrapped up their pool game at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia on Thursday, going down 20-4 to Greece.
Defeats sees them ending bottom of Group D after losses to Netherlands and Australia, 22-1 and 19-1 respectively. But there were signs that the experience of taking on the world’s best is rubbing off on the South Africans.
Young Ruby Versfeld scored two more goals and now has the honour of scoring in all of South Africa’s three fixtures so far. One of the tallest girls in the team, she’s still the ‘baby’ in terms of experience etc. Going forward and the Westerford High School product in Cape Town is planning to study at Bakersfield University in the US.
Before that though the talented centre-forward will be heading off to Volos, Greece for the World Junior and Under-20 Championships, along with current team member Lindsay Killeen.
‘Yeah, it was a much better game for us and we had more of an attack,’ skipper Kelsey White, who scored the other two goals against Greece, told Road to Rio 2016. ‘We’re happy with that result and again, I’m proud of the girls’ tenacity for the full four quarters.
Next up is a classification match against New Zealand and White is upbeat.
‘We play them on Saturday (9.30am SA time) and we should be able to beat them if we go into the first quarter fired up and fully focused. They’re a strong side but also beatable.’
Open water swimming action is starting to wind down and Thursday saw the 5km team event where 5km individual gold medal winner Chad Ho, Nico Manoussakis and Michelle Weber ended in 18th place with a combined time of 1hr 00min 31.2sec as Germany won in 55:14.4sec. The German team included Rob Muffels who Ho got the better of to win his 5km gold.
By all indications team work wasn’t the best in the South African outfit as the stronger men left Weber with a lot of solo work to do.
Only SA participation in open water action now is Manoussakis who goes off in the 25km on Saturday.
Back to water polo and Friday’s action sees Pierre le Roux’s men’s side playing their final pool game against Kazakhstan. In previous pool action they’ve beaten Argentina and lost to Hungary. Should they beat Kazakhstan they’re likely to end second in the pool and get a favourable fixture in the next round.
Diving action features Julia Vincent and Micaela Bouter in the 3m springboard preliminary round.


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