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Water Polo

Water Polo

Schedule & Results: Catch Up

(Local) / 05:50 PM 20 Aug (Rio)
Men's Gold Medal Match

7 (Lost)

11 (Won)



Serbia (SRB)
Croatia (CRO)

(Local) / 01:00 PM 20 Aug (Rio)
Men's Bronze Medal Match

10 (Lost)

12 (Won)



Italy (ITA)

(Local) / 03:30 PM 19 Aug (Rio)
Women's Gold Medal Match

12 (Won)

5 (Lost)

United States


United States (USA)
Italy (ITA)

(Local) / 02:10 PM 19 Aug (Rio)
Women's Classification 5th-6th Place

10 (Lost)

12 (Won)



Lea Yanitsas Gemma Beadsworth Hannah Buckling Holly Lincoln-Smith Keesja Kaia Gofers Bronwen Knox Rowie Webster Glencora McGhie Zoe Arancini Ash Southern Isobel Bishop Nicola Zagame Kelsey Wakefield

(Local) / 11:20 AM 19 Aug (Rio)
Women's Bronze Medal Match

18 (Lost)

19 (Won)



Russia (RUS)

© IOC 2016 Official Results powered by Atos. Timing and results management by Omega.

Full Water Polo Schedule & Results

Women constant medal threat and men looking for breakthrough

The Australian water polo teams will be donning their speedos and caps in sunny Rio in hopes for another medal for the girls and a first for the men.

Despite only having participated in four Olympic Games, the women’s team will be looking to add a fourth Olympic medal and hopefully a second gold medal to their tally, while the men’s team will be looking to secure their first Olympic medal.

The Croatian and Serbians teams will be a major threat in the men’s competition, while the USA women’s team will be looking for their fifth Olympic medal in a row.

Women to watch: The Australian Women’s Water Polo Team for the Rio Olympics will see captain Bronwen Knox and Gemma Beadsworth both line up for their third Olympics with Rowie WebsterGlencora McGhieNicola ZagameHolly Lincoln-Smith and Ashleigh Southern all lining up for their second. 

They will be joined by six debutants, Keesja GofersHannah BucklingKelsey WakefieldLea YanitsasIsobel Bishop and Zoe Arancini.

Men to watch: A solid mix of experience and youth will make up the Australian Men’s Water Polo side for the Rio Olympic Games, as the team set out to bring home a medal and claim history.

Rhys Howden and Richie Campbell will look towards an Olympic medal at their third Olympic campaign, while Joel DennerleyJohnno Cotterill, Aidan Roach and Aaron Younger all aim for their second Olympic appearance.

Goalkeeper, James Stanton-French will be looking to compete in his third Olympic Games, after representing Australia at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. 

Lining up for their first Olympic Games is Nathan Power, George Ford, Jarrod Gilchrist, Joel Swift, Joe Kayes and Mitchell Emery. 

Qualification, Nomination & Selection

12 men's teams will be selected in the following manner:

  •         1 place – host nation (Brazil)
  •         1 place - 2015 World League (Serbia qualified)
  •         2 places - 2015 Kazan FINA World Championships (If Serbia is top 2 then the 3rd place)
  •         5 places - Continental Championships (The best ranked NOC in each of the five continental championships. If already qualified then next best ranked will obtain a quota place.) The continental championships to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games are:

o   African Water Polo Championships (1 place)

o   Asian Water Polo Championships (1 place)

o   2016 European Championships (1 place)

o   2015 Pan American Games (1 place)

o   Oceanian Water Polo Championships (1 place)

  •         3 places - Men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament

Eight (8) women's teams will be selected in the following manner:

  •         1 place – host nation/Americas continent spot (Brazil)
  •         4 places - Continental Championships

o   African Water Polo Championships (1 place)

o   Asian Water Polo Championships (1 place)

o   2016 European Championships (1 place)

o   Oceanian Water Polo Championships (1 place)

  •         3 places - Women’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament

For the full detail >>>

Nomination to the AOC

Following the qualification of both Men’s and Women’s Teams, the respective Water Polo Australia (WPA) National Head Coach, and with the approval of the WPA Board, will consider the nomination of athletes in accordance with a series of mandatory performance or participation requirements. These factors include, but are not limited to, demonstrated ability to contribute to the appropriate balance of Athletes across various specialist playing positions, achieve desired playing strategies, performances in international and national competition, level of skill and fitness and demonstrated ability to work with coaching staff, team officials and other players.

For the full detail on men's nomination >>>
For the full detail on women's nomination >>>

Selection by the AOC

For the full detail >>>

Appeals Tribunal Chair

John Renshaw
Email: jrenshaw@mcwnsw.com.au

Team qualified (as January 2016)

  • Men – Brazil, Serbia, USA, Greece, Croatia, Japan
  • Women - Brazil, China

Competition Format & Events

Water polo at the Olympic Games is comprised of a men’s and women’s competition. Eight teams play in the women’s competition while 12 compete in the men’s division.

In the men's event, the qualifying teams are divided into two pools of six for a round-robin preliminary heat. The top four teams from each pool advance to the quarter-finals, and the quarter-finals winners advance to the medal rounds.

The women's teams play a full round-robin preliminary heat, with the top four teams advancing to the medal rounds. The four teams failing to advance, play to determine fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth place.

Water polo is played by teams of seven in a pool with a goal at each end. Matches are divided into four periods of eight minutes and each team has only 30 seconds to attempt to score before the ball is returned to the opposition. Players aren’t allowed to touch the sides or the bottom of the pool during play.

Australia and Olympic Water Polo

The gold medal winning performance by the Australian women at their home Olympics in 2000 is the overwhelming highlight for Australia in this sport. In a nail-biting finish, Australia’s Yvette Higgins scored the winning goal with 1.2 seconds left on the clock.

In Beijing 2008, after a series of close calls for the women's team to miss the gold medal game, they beat Hungary by one goal in a thrilling match to win bronze.

The Australian women’s team returned to the 2012 London Olympic Games and had another great tournament to win another bronze. men’s team closed out its OIympic campaign in seventh place.

Australia’s men have not won a medal in water polo with the best placing being fifth at 1984 Los Angeles and 1992 Barcelona. At the London 2012 Games the men’s water polo team had a narrow loss in the quarter-final to eventual bronze medallists Serbia. They are targeting a big jump on their seventh at these Games.

Australia's Olympic water polo medal tally is: 3 (1 gold, 0 silver, 2 bronze)

Read more about water polo at the Olympics and Australia’s history here>>>

Search for all Australian Olympian water polo players here>>>

Did you know


  • Water polo is the oldest Olympic team sport having been contested continuously at every modern Olympic Games since Paris 1900. 
  • Women’s water polo made its debut in Sydney 2000. Much of the credit for its inclusion on the Olympic program can be credited to lobbying led by Australia, the United States, Canada and Holland.
  • A team has seven players and six substitutes. At any time in the game, a player may be substituted. Only the head coach is allowed to move away from the Team bench.
  • Each team may request two timeouts in any game. An additional timeout including any timeouts not utilised may be requested should the game go into extra time. The duration of the timeout shall be one minute. A timeout may be requested at any time, including after a goal, by the coach of the team in possession of the ball.
  • A penalty throw shall be taken by any player of the team (except the goalkeeper) to which it is awarded for a penalty foul. All other players must leave the 5m area leaving only the defending goalkeeper in goal.
  • The first listed team will wear white caps or the caps reflecting the colour of their country and will start the game to the left of the official table. The other team will wear blue caps or caps of a contrasting colour and will start the game to the right of the table. Goalkeepers wear red caps.

Pre-Rio AUS Tally

1 Gold
0 Silver
2 Bronze


Fast Facts

Water Polo Links

Water Polo Australia

Water Polo IF

Yanitsas ready to inspire the next generation 30 September 2016 (AEDT)

For Australian goalkeeper Lea Yanitsas the Rio Olympics brought about every emotion she had ever experienced in her life.


Men’s water polo building towards Tokyo 30 August 2016 (AEDT)

For Australia’s men’s water polo team, the results of Rio 2016 Olympic Games have left them with mixed emotions.


Penalty shootout leaves Aussies Water Polo team unfilled 24 August 2016 (AEDT)

They came to Rio with gold in their sights, but for the women’s water polo team that wasn’t to be after a loss in the quarter final.


Top five target remains our future goal 22 August 2016 (AEDT)

A top five position on the Olympic medals table remains a realistic goal for Australia despite falling “well short” of ambitions in Rio, chef de mission Kitty Chiller has declared.


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Australian Women’s Water Polo finish sixth 20 August 2016 (AEDT)

There was no denying the Women’s Water Polo final table look different to what was predicted leading into Rio Olympics, including Australia finishing in sixth place.


Day 14 Preview 19 August 2016 (AEDT)

As we near the end of the Games Australia is looking strong for a couple of medals on Day 14 with prospects in athletics, BMX at least. We also have a thrilling men’s basketball game to thrill us.


Day 12 Review 18 August 2016 (AEDT)

A big win in the basketball quarter-finals and Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame booked their place in tomorrow’s K2 1000m final.


Day 10 Review 16 August 2016 (AEDT)

Day 10 saw a number of great individual performances for our Aussie athletes with personal best times on the athletics track and a fantastic 15th place finish in the women's 10km water swim for 17-year-old Olympic debutant Chelsea Lea Gubecka.


Support from the stands keeping girls afloat 16 August 2016 (AEDT)

It's not just the athletes that make the journey to an Olympic Games.


Penalty 'lottery’ ends in heartbreak for water polo women 16 August 2016 (AEDT)

The Aussie women's water polo team has gone down to Hungary in their quarter-final in a heartbreaking penalty shootout.


Day 10 preview – Team sport knockout rounds 15 August 2016 (AEDT)

As we move into week two of the Games, Australia has the challenge of quarter-final knockout games in two team sports, the women’s hockey and water polo. The Canoe Sprint competition gets under way and there are medals on the line in Sailing.


Day 9 review - Determined Aussies have mixed day in Rio 15 August 2016 (AEDT)

There were strong individual performances for the Aussies on the track, diving in the pool and on the golf greens, but unfortunately it was not quite enough for a podium finish.


Australia ends water polo campaign with a win over Greece 15 August 2016 (AEDT)

Hungary once again demonstrated why they are regarded one of the best in the world after defeating Brazil 10-6.The win unfortunately means that Australia will not progress through to the Quarter Finals of the Rio Olympic Games after finishing fifth in their pool.


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Water polo girls confident they can beat rivals Hungary. 14 August 2016

Women's water polo captain Bronwen Knox and Olympic debutant Keesja Gofers preview their quarter final against rival Hungary.


Water polo women out class hosts 14 August 2016 (AEDT)

Australia have powered home to take a decisive 10-3 win over hosts Brazil in the final pool stage of the women's water polo.


Devastating blow for Men’s Water Polo Team 13 August 2016 (AEDT)

The Australian Men’s Water Polo team have suffered a devastating blow in game four of their pool stage, going down to powerhouse Serbia 8-10.


Three medals and PBs on Day 7 in Rio 13 August 2016 (AEDT)

It was another huge day in Rio with three medals won by Australia.


Day 8 preview – Super Saturday 13 August 2016 (AEDT)

On Super Saturday Australia has medal hopes on the water, in the velodrome, in the pool and on the track.


Day 7 preview - Meares, athletics and plenty more 12 August 2016 (AEDT)

Athletics kicks off its competition program with three sessions on Day 1. Flagbearer Anna Meares starts her program and popular boxer Shelley Watts has her first bout.