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World Championships: Women’s Preliminary Round 3

The last day of women’s preliminary rounds have finished. Spain, Italy, United States of America and Russia have advanced to the quarterfinals of the FINA World Championships.

In the morning, Spain was the first qualifier, winning its third consecutive match in Group C, downing Cuba 19-6. Beatriz Ortiz top-scored with four goals and Cuba’s Mayelin Bernal netted three against the Spanish. In the second match, Greece cemented second position with a 13-7 margin over Kazakhstan with centre forward Eleni Xenaki scoring three goals.

In Group D, Australia had to work hard to repulse Japan’s challenge 9-7. It took a three-goal burst in the middle of the final quarter to break free. Sadly for Japan, after three two-goal losses in one of the toughest groups, it has been exiled to the rough 13-16 while Australia takes second spot. In the next match, Italy took control of the group with a 14-6 win over China, who finished third.

Group A began with the United States defeating South Africa 26-1, and booking a quarterfinal berth, as expected. Then, the Netherlands was leading only 6-3 at halftime over New Zealand before swimming away to a score of 15-6, clinching second spot from New Zealand.

In Group B, Korea attracted a huge crowd again with everyone waiting for the elusive second goal. Not one, but two goals came for the host nation as Canada enjoyed the festival style and secured third spot, and its first win with a 22-2 margin. In the final match, Russia then stunned Hungary with a 4-0 start and continued to hold the reins in a high-scoring match. Russia led 11-7 at halftime and 17-12 at the final whistle.

The finals standing:
Group A

    W L D +/- Points
1  USA 3 0 0 47 6
2 NETHERLANDS 2 1 0 39 4
3 NEW ZEALAND 1 2 0 -15 2
4 SOUTH AFRICA 0 3 0 -71 0

Group B

    W L D +/- Points
1  RUSSIA 3 0 0 42 6
2 HUNGARY 2 0 1 60 4
3 CANADA 1 2 0 11 2
4 KOREA 0 3 0 -113 0

Group C

    W L D +/- Points
1 SPAIN 3 0 0 35 6
2 GREECE 2 1 0 12 4
3 KAZAKSHTAN 1 2 0 -15 2
4 CUBA 0 3 0 -32 0

Group D

    W L D +/- Points
1 ITALY 3 0 0 11 6
2 AUSTRALIA 2 1 0 3 4
3 CHINA 1 2 0 -8 2
4 JAPAN 0 3 0 -6 0

The group winners are automatically in the quarterfinals. The rest will have another set of matches that will determine who the other four are that get in.
The schedule for Saturday, 20 July is the following:

10:30 South Africa – Korea
10:00 Cuba – Japan
14:00 Netherlands – Canada
15:30 New Zealand – Hungary
17:00 Greece – China
18:30 Kazakhstan – Australia

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