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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Croatia Win 2010 European Water Polo Championship In Front Of Zagreb Home Crowd












After 17 years, Croatia Finally Take Gold At The European Championships





Well, the 2010 European Water Polo Championships are over after 2 weeks of nail biting action. The best teams from Europe came vying for the coveted crown in European Waterpolo at the Sports Park Mladost in Zagreb, Croatia. And the home crowd favorite didn't let the fans and country down, with the final result being a 7:3 win over Italy in the final.









It was a very competitive European Championships in the capital city of Zagreb, with the "Barakude" (Barracudas) getting tremendous support from all the fans that attended the matches as well as the whole country that stayed home and watched on television. At times they were so pumped that some officials from the water polo governing bodies actually wanted them to step it down a notch or two in the cheering deprtment. (Still kind of scratching my head about that one.)




 







Probably the biggest test, and potentially the biggest downfall for Croatia on their way to the gold medal final was their match against Serbia. To lose to them especially in Zagreb, would have been a very hard pill to swallow. But they did what had to be done and managed to meet their tough opponents from the other side of the Adriatic, and the always capable of taking it all Italians, for the winner take all final match.





Highlights of the the Croatia-Serbia semi-final match.





This was the only major trophy that has eluded the Croats since being able to compete as an independent nation in the early 90's. They've won Olympic and World Championship gold, but always ended up short when it came to the European Championships, coming close though by finishing with silver twice. But that's all over and done with now, and Croatia are the 2010 European Water Polo Champions. The players, coaches and organizors say they couldn't have done it without the tremendous support of the fans of the sport and of the National Team. The Croatian fans were such an integral part in the success of the Croatian Team this time around, and filled the stands so easily, always vocal to the max, that they wish the European Water Polo Championships would have been played in the new Arena Zagreb across town, as originally planned.











The fans enthusiasm, cheering and support showed to the world that we have some of the best fans when it comes to our teams, and again, that we deserve and are capable of holding major sports championships. It also goes to show, like I've previously mentioned on this blog,  that there is more to Croatian sports than just soccer, skiing and handball.  If one of our teams/athletes doesn't live up to their potential or the country's expectations, then usually there's another sport just around the corner where our athletes do us proud. Like I've written before also, for a country of 4.5 million, we do pretty dam good. I really wish I could have been there for this one, I can taste the beer flowing from here.






Highlights of the final gold medal game.



The awards presentation and playing of the national anthem.












The players and coach stating how they owe it all to the support of the fans, and are very happy to have won for them on home ground. (In Croatian)

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Sources: www.europeanchampionships.org  www.vecernji.hr  www.jutarnji.hr www.24sata.hr danas.net.hr www.zagreb2010.com gol.hr www.net.hr www.hvs.hr www.tportal.hr wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Mens_European_Water_Polo_Championship

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