Even a sixth place finish at the World Championships could earn the women's polo team a plane ticket to Paris
For the Hungarian women's water polo team, which finished fifth at the European Championships in Eindhoven, the World Championships in Doha in February are the last chance to fight for Olympic participation.
The team of Attila Mihok and Sandor Czeh are in a group with Singapore, Australia and New Zealand in the Qatar competition, where they will finish first or second depending on the paper model.
All of this means that the Hungarian national team will almost certainly play in the quarterfinals with the American national team, which has won gold medals in the last three Olympics, or the Dutch national team, which is defending its world championship title. A feat, a top four finish, would certainly mean immediate participation in the Olympic Games, but the chance remains even if it is only fifth to eighth place. The group will continue to gain a place.
There are still two spots up for grabs at the Paris Olympics, based on the balance of power, with Hungarian, Italian and Canadian teams competing. If neither team can pull off an upset among the eight, the score is 5-8. The generally “boring” play-off being arranged for a spot will have big stakes in the World Cup that starts on February 4.
Eindhoven, January 11, 2024. Nezmeli Boglarka, goalkeeper of the Hungarian national team, at the Women's European Water Polo Championship in rounds 5-8. Playing for a place in the Great Britain-Hungary match at the Peter van den Hoogenband Swimming Arena in Eindhoven on January 11, 2024. MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry