Fri Oct 4th / All-in Global / Archived

Serbia| Sink or swim time for Water Polo favourites

There was a great chance for Serbian gold in the form of World Number One men’s player Novak Djokovic but he was given just about the toughest draw possible when faced with Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in Round One, who duly beat him in straight sets. But there could be a great chance of at least one gold medal in another ball sport…

Read the Serbian version

Men’s Water polo

Serbia's Dusan Mandic throws the ball to score a goal during their Gold medal match at the men’s European Waterpolo Championships against Montenegro in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrej Cukic)
Serbia’s Dusan Mandic throws the ball to score a goal during their Gold medal match at the men’s European Waterpolo Championships against Montenegro in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrej Cukic)

Serbia won the Men’s Water polo World League in late June 2015 with a fine 9-6 win over bitter rivals Croatia in the final, having also looked impressive in beating Brazil in the semis.

So it was a little surprising when they opened their Olympic campaign with back-to-back draws against Hungary and Greece, though the former in particular are always to be respected in this event.

Those results haven’t stopped them from being the gold medal favourites, though. Their biggest star is arguably Filip Filipovic, the 1.96m giant who plays his water polo at club level for Pro Recco in Italy. Capped over 190 times for Serbia, he helped them win the 2009 and 2011 World Championships and has 5 goals from his first two matches in Rio.

Women’s Volleyball

Serbia's Tijana Malesevic, left, Maja Ognjenovic and Stefana Veljkovic, right, celebrate during a women's preliminary volleyball match against Puerto Rico at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Serbia’s Tijana Malesevic, left, Maja Ognjenovic and Stefana Veljkovic, right, celebrate during a women’s preliminary volleyball match against Puerto Rico at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

It’s a big ask for Serbia to take a medal here with powerhouses Brazil, China and USA in the field but at least they’ve made the best possible start with two straight sets wins over Italy and Costa Rica.

If they can avoid Brazil in the next round and someone else takes out China or the USA who are in their group then Serbia, the 2011 European Champions, have the players to at least take a real shot at bronze.

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WRITTEN BY:All-in Global


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