Shock elimination for women's water polo team

By George Georgakopoulos

The women's national water polo team failed to earn a ticket to this summer's Olympics as it lost to Spain in the deciding game at the Olympic qualification tournament in Italy on Friday.

Spain beat Greece 9-7 in the crucial match, forcing the Greek women, the reigning world champions, out of a third consecutive Olympic tournament.

The players of coach Giorgos Morfesis had scored three wins in four games in the group phase of the tournament at Trieste, losing only to the Netherlands.

However on Friday, in the all-important encounter, they performed well below their potential, while the Spaniards were excellent in defense.

Such was the frustration for the Greeks in the second half that they scored no goals in eight chances with a player's advantage.

This may well signal the end of a generation for the national team that became the first from Greece to claim gold in a team sport world championship ever.

Greek water polo fans will still be able to cheer on the men's team that has already qualified for this summer's Games in London.