Budapest, Jan 13: The 34th European Water Polo Championships started here on Sunday, with the Hungarian capital staging the tournament for the fifth time.
"Twenty-eight teams of seventeen nations are ready to rock in the Duna Arena, as Budapest will stage the European Water Polo Championships from Sunday for a record fifth time," the organizers informed in a press release. "We are always happy to come to Budapest, it's a true home of water polo where great atmosphere and successful events are guaranteed," said LEN Vice-President Fernando Carpena who welcomed the attendees at the opening press conference of the 34th European Water Polo Championships.
"With the Olympic qualification at stake, this event is one of the most important tournaments this year and we are delighted that our teams can play in such a terrific venue as the Duna Arena," Carpena added. Budapest welcomes the best water polo teams for the fifth time after 1926, 1958, 2001 and 2014, which is a record in the history of the event. It is the first time when the event is held indoors in the Hungarian capital after memorable editions staged in the legendary Alfred Hajos complex on the Margaret Island. The championship starts Sunday with three games in the women's tournament in Group A, (Slovakia-Russia, Greece-Serbia and Hungary-Croatia) and three in Group B (France-Spain, Germany-Italy and Netherlands-Israel). According to LEN, a total of 364 waterpolo players had been entered to the championships at Budapest, with every team having 13 players. The 34th European Water Polo Championships will end on January 26. (UNI-XINHUA)