Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee

The first day in Szombathely already offered some thrilling encounters at the FINA Youth Water Polo World Championships. The game between Italy and the USA stood out: the Italians produced the first big comeback of the tourney by scoring the last four goals to win the match. 

Two close matches kicked off the Youth Worlds at Szombathely which saw the very first major FINA Event where a set of new rules are tested. The first impressions look fine, the games are more vibrant with the second possessions limited to 20sec instead of 30 (exclusions, second attack after corner throw, or with regained ball after blocks, posts).

In Group A Brazil bettered South Africa after a brilliant first half when the South Americans took a commanding 1-7 lead and they never looked back. Something similar happened in the next match where Montenegro gained a 2-6 lead against the Aussies. Soon they went 2-8 and 4-9 up and their rivals could decrease the deficit to 4 goals.

Croatia thrashed New Zealand and Russia did the same with Argentina, both matches ended in a 20-5 rout.

The big game of the day featured Italy and the United States, deep into the third period the Americans seemed to keep the match under control, with 4:06 to go they led 5-8. However, they couldn’t add any more goals in the remaining 12:06 minutes and Italy staged an outstanding rush, netting four unanswered goals. The winner came 21 seconds from time, Domenio Iodoce netted a fine action goal for a 9-8 win.

The last three matches turned into one-sided contests. Canada was no match for Spain, then Hungary bettered the day's scoring record to 22 against China but that lived only for an hour since Colombia, despite playing with only nine field-players, netted 24 against Saudi Arabia.