Water polo’s emergence

For years, the men’s national water polo side often came close to winning a medal in major competition but would ultimately end in sixth, seventh, or eighth place. Quite clearly, something extra was needed to elevate the side’s capabilities. The solution may have been found in the team’s recently appointed Italian coach, Sando Campagna, tried and tested at home, both as a player and coach, who led Greece to an impressive and unanticipated fourth place at the World Championships in Barcelona in 2003 following a disappointing eighth place in its previous commitment, the Europeans. Campagna, who was hired soon after Greece’s debacle at the European Championships, took little time to register with his players, as reflected by Greece’s course in Barcelona. On its way to the world’s top four, Greece eliminated both Russia and the USA, only to be deprived of a place in the tournament’s final by powerhouse Hungary, the eventual champion, following a narrow 9-8 loss, determined after extra time, in a tense semifinal. The Greek squad’s players have repeatedly praised their newly arrived Italian coach for his efforts to revive a side that had lacked spirit. Soon after Greece’s unanticipated showing in Barcelona, one of Greece’s longest serving players, Costas Loudis, credited Campagna for his methodical approach to the game and willingness to associate with squad members. The women accomplished less. They ended fifth at the Europeans and ninth at the World Championships.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.