Second final of the golden generation of female water polo in the last three Olympic Games. The generation of Anni Espar, the restless star that, tired of winning everything, can not be spent more than three years in a row on the same team. The generation of a daughter of the Sants neighborhood of Barcelona, Laura Esther, which becomes giant under the sticks of the goal. That of a 16-year-old girl of ruby, Elena Ruiz, who has a missile on her right arm. And that of a 35-year-old veteran, Pili Peña, who left Madrid to collect an enviable palmarkets.
Rarely a nickname (water warriors) had been so well deserved for a group of women who leave the soul in the pool. It has been a spectacle to see them win. It is also when they lose against the best in the world because they do it by winning. The Black Beast became the United States again. As happened at the London Final 2012.
The Olympic Final was repeated with the same outcome. You have to recognize it: Americans have put a bath to Spain. Domain, rapidly hired, aggressiveness, defensive solidity and a wall in the goal. They have it all. "With his third consecutive gold, they have shown that it is the best selection of all time," he shouts an American commentator who is narrating the beating of him to the Spanish team.
As the commentator said, American tyranny in this sport has already been three golds in Olympic Games. It is a team that has climbed the podium in all the games since the female waterpolo entered the program in Sydney 2000.
Spain does not win the US since 2013, in the quarterfinals of the World Championship in Barcelona. Then they took revenge on the defeat in the Olympic Final of the previous year.
In Tokyo, Americans did not rival. They passed over the team directed by Miki Oca, Olympic Champion in 1996 and Silver in 1992, who wanted to make history with a second gold from the bench. He directed a selection that came to Tokyo as the current European champions and runners of the world. Only in Rio 2016 stumbled against Russia in the quarterfinals and turned home to emptiness.
The best player in the world
The Spaniards had opposite the selection of Maggie Steffens (28 years), a highest Olympic annotator of all time in this sport. Steffens is the captain of a team that was wearing 13 years without losing until he confronted Hungary in the classification phase. It was her first defeat in the Olympic Games since the end of 2008 against Holland.
The first quarter began with Spain enclosed in defense because the Americans attacked and attacked, tasting Laura Ester, who took out a couple of balls of the squad, but could not stop guns like Steffens, which added 18 goals in the tournament. The Spanish could not react. The rest of the game, the Americans did what they wanted. Final result: 14-5
Since Steffens joined the team, the Olympic champions have won all the important tournaments in which they have participated. The 2012 and 2016 games. And the last three glasses of the world, the last six world leagues and the last five Pan-American Games. Among the Olympic Games of 2016 and 2020, they won 128 games. They only lost three.
In addition to Steffens, considered the best player in the world, the US also has the best porter, Ashleigh Johnson, 26, who is from the few team that was not born in California, cradle of the water polo, but in Florida. Johnson stopped everything. She also departed from Maddie Musselman, who was the key to the United States passed over Russia in the semifinals
In the first final of London, Steffens, Johnson and Musselman already confronted a very young Anni Esp, who scored two goals. The player of the CN Mataró was now a senior that loaded with the gallons of being the Spanish team star. In addition, she knew some players of the rival team of her stage in the United States. She shared a bench with the American attacker Kaleigh Gilchrist at the University in Southern California.
Anni Espaste played a sensational tournament by guiding Spain during an almost impeccable championship until the final. She passed over the Hungares in the semifinals (8-6) and the Chinese in quarters (11-7). Before, swept South Africa (29-4) and Australia (15-9), and won with solvency to Canada (14-10). The only puncture before the bath that has given him had been in the classification phase against the Netherlands (13-14).Updated Date: 07 August 2021, 05:00