Water polo at the Summer Olympics

Water polo at the Summer Olympics
Water polo pictogram.svg
Governing bodyFINA
Events2 (men: 1; women: 1)
Games
Note: demonstration or exhibition sport years indicated in italics

Champions (menwomen)
Records and statistics (menwomen)
Venues

Water polo has been part of the Summer Olympics program since the second games, in 1900. A women's water polo tournament was introduced for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Hungary has been the most successful country in men's tournament, while the United States is the only team to win multiple times at the women's tournament since its introduction. Italy is the first and only country to win both the men's and women's water polo tournaments.

HistoryEdit

The history of water polo as a team sport began in mid 19th century England and Scotland, where water sports were a feature of county fairs and festivals.[1][2] Water polo has been included in every Summer Olympic Games as a men's competition sport, except 1896. Women's water polo made its debut in the Summer Olympics in 2000.

BeginningsEdit

Water polo final at the 1908 London Olympics

Men's water polo was among the first team sports introduced at the modern Olympic games in 1900. Seven European teams from four countries, including four from the host nation France, took part in the competition. The British team was the inaugural champion.

At the 1904 Summer Olympics, a water polo tournament was contested, but only American contestants participated. Currently International Olympic Committee (IOC) consider water polo event as part of unofficial program in 1904.

From 1908 to 1920, the Great Britain men's national water polo team won three consecutive gold medals at the Olympics, becoming the first water polo team to have an Olympic winning streak (winning three or more Olympic titles in a row).

Hungary dominanceEdit

Hungary men's national water polo team has participated in 22 of 27 Olympic tournaments, with fifteen Olympic medals (nine gold, three silver and three bronze). From 1928 to 1980, the Hungarians won twelve consecutive medals in water polo. Twenty years later, the team won three gold in a row between 2000 and 2008, becoming the second team to have an Olympic winning streak in water polo.

Blood in the Water matchEdit

The most famous water polo match in Olympic history often refers to as the Blood in the Water match, was a 1956 Summer Olympics semi-final match between Hungary and the Soviet Union, played in Melbourne on 6 December 1956. As the athletes left for the games, the Hungarian revolution began, and the Soviet army crushed the uprising. The match was bloody and violent. The Hungarians defeated the Soviets 4–0 before the game was called off in the final minute to prevent angry Hungarians in the crowd reacting to Soviet player Valentin Prokopov punching Hungarian player Ervin Zador. Pictures of Zádor's injuries were published around the world, leading to the "Blood in the Water" moniker.[3]

The Hungarians went on to win the Olympic gold medal by defeating Yugoslavia 2–1 in the final.

Addition of women's programEdit

Women's water polo became an Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Six nations competed in the women's tournament with home team Australia winning the gold medal over the United States.

From 2000 to 2016, the United States women's team won five consecutive medals in water polo.

GeographyEdit

Water polo is now popular in many countries around the world, notably Europe (particularly in Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Spain), Australia, Brazil, Canada and the United States.

As of 2016, 51 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) from six continents have sent their water polo teams to the Summer Olympics. Men's water polo teams of ten European NOCs won all 26 official tournaments, while women's teams from Europe, North America and Oceania won all five gold medals. Water polo teams from Africa, Asia and South America have not won an Olympic medal yet.

VenuesEdit

Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center will be used at the 2020 Olympics in water polo.

For the Summer Olympics, there are 34 venues that have been or will be used for water polo.

The Seine in Paris hosted the first water polo competitions at the 1900 Olympics. The Forest Park in St. Louis hosted the water polo events for the 1904 Summer Olympics.

The first water polo venue not located on a river or a lake took place at the 1908 London Olympics. It was not until the 1920 Olympics that a separate venue was created for the aquatic venues. The 1948 Games was the first Olympics in water polo took place both indoor and in more than one venue. The first separate water polo venue that was not connected to other aquatic venues was at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

The Water Polo Arena of the 2012 London Olympics was the first dedicated water polo venue to be built for an Olympics, the structure was taken down after the games.

  1. France Paris 1900: Seine, Paris
  2. United States St. Louis 1904: Forest Park, St. Louis
  3. United Kingdom London 1908: White City Stadium, White City
  4. Sweden Stockholm 1912: Djurgårdsbrunnsviken, Stockholm
  5. Belgium Antwerp 1920: Stade Nautique d'Antwerp, Antwerp
  6. France Paris 1924: Piscine des Tourelles, Paris
  7. Netherlands Amsterdam 1928: Olympic Sports Park Swim Stadium, Amsterdam
  8. United States Los Angeles 1932: Swimming Stadium, Los Angeles
  9. Germany Berlin 1936: Olympic Swimming Stadium, Berlin
  10. United Kingdom London 1948: Empire Pool (final), Wembley; and Finchley Lido, North Finchley
  11. Finland Helsinki 1952: Swimming Stadium, Helsinki
  12. Australia Melbourne 1956: Swimming/Diving Stadium, Melbourne
  13. Italy Rome 1960: Piscina delle Rose and Stadio Olimpico del Nuoto (final), both in Rome
  14. Japan Tokyo 1964: Tokyo Metropolitan Indoor Swimming Pool, Tokyo
  15. Mexico Mexico City 1968: Francisco Márquez Olympic Pool (final) and University City Swimming Pool, both in Mexico City
  16. West Germany Munich 1972: Dantebad and Schwimmhalle (final), both in Munich
  17. Canada Montreal 1976: Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard and Olympic Pool (final), both in Montreal
  18. Soviet Union Moscow 1980: Swimming Pool - Moscow and Swimming Pool - Olimpiysky (final), both in Moscow
  19. United States Los Angeles 1984: Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool, Malibu, California
  20. South Korea Seoul 1988: Jamsil Indoor Swimming Pool, Seoul
  21. Spain Barcelona 1992: Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc and Piscines Bernat Picornell (final), both in Badalona
  22. United States Atlanta 1996: Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta
  23. Australia Sydney 2000: Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre, Ryde; and Sydney International Aquatic Centre, Sydney
  24. Greece Athens 2004: Athens Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens
  25. China Beijing 2008: Ying Tung Natatorium, Beijing
  26. United Kingdom London 2012: Water Polo Arena, London
  27. Brazil Rio de Janeiro 2016: Maria Lenk Aquatic Center and Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Rio de Janeiro
  28. Japan Tokyo 2020: Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, Tokyo

Sources:

EventsEdit

Notes
The X indicates that the tournament was held as a full Olympic medal sport.
The bullet () denotes that it was contested as a demonstration sport.
Event 96 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Games
Men's tournament X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 27
Women's tournament X X X X X X 6
Total 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2

RulesEdit

QualificationEdit

Since 2012, the qualifying process consists of five stages:

  1. The team of the host nation qualifies automatically.
  2. No more than one team qualifies as the top team in the FINA World League.
  3. No more than three teams qualify as the top teams in the World Aquatics Championships.
  4. No more than five teams qualify as the continental Olympic qualification tournament champions.
  5. No more than four teams qualify through a world qualifying tournament, in which the best teams which did not qualify directly from each continent compete for the remaining berths.
Men's qualification
Stage Zone Tournament Berths
2012 2016 2020
1 Host nation 1 (from
Europe)
1 (from
Americas)
1 (from
Asia)
2 World – FINA FINA Water Polo World League 1 1 Steady 1 Steady
3 World – FINA World Aquatics Championships 3 2 Decrease 2 Steady
4 Africa – CANA African Continental Selection 0 0 Steady 1 Increase
Americas – ASUA Pan American Games 1 1 Steady 1 Steady
Asia – AASF Asian Water Polo Championship 1 1 Steady 1 Steady
Europe – LEN European Water Polo Championship 0 1 Increase 1 Steady
Oceania – OSA Oceanian Continental Selection 1 1 Steady 1 Steady
5 World – FINA World Qualification Tournament 4 4 Steady 3 Decrease
Total 12 Steady 12 Steady 12 Steady
Women's qualification
Stage Zone Tournament Berths
2012 2016 2020
1 Host nation 1 (from
Europe)
1 (from
Americas)
1 (from
Asia)
2 World – FINA FINA Water Polo World League 0 0 Steady 1 Increase
3 World – FINA World Aquatics Championships 0 0 Steady 1 Increase
4 Africa – CANA African Continental Selection 0 0 Steady 1 Increase
Americas – ASUA Pan American Games 1 0 Decrease 1 Increase
Asia – AASF Asian Water Polo Championship 1 1 Steady 1 Steady
Europe – LEN European Water Polo Championship 0 1 Increase 1 Steady
Oceania – OSA Oceanian Continental Selection 1 1 Steady 1 Steady
5 World – FINA World Qualification Tournament 4 4 Steady 2 Decrease
Total 8 8 Steady 10 Increase

PlayersEdit

EligibilityEdit

According to the FINA General Rules[4], the list below shows the requirements for a player to be eligible to play in international tournaments:

  • "GR 1.1: All competitors shall be registered with their National Federation to be eligible to compete."
  • "GR 2.5: When a competitor or competition official represents his/her country in a competition, he/she shall be a citizen, whether by birth or naturalisation, of the nation he/she represents, provided that a naturalised citizen shall have lived in that country for at least one year prior to that competition. Competitors, who have more than one nationality according to the laws of the respective nations must choose one 'Sport Nationality'. This choice shall be exercised by the first representation of the competitor for one of the countries."
  • "GR 2.6: Any competitor or competition official changing his sport nationality from one national governing body to another must have resided in the territory of and been under the jurisdiction of the latter for at least twelve months prior to his first representation for the country."

Competition formatEdit

For both the men's and women's tournaments at the 2020 Olympics, the competition consists of a round-robin group stage followed by a knockout stage. Teams are placed into two groups, with each team playing each other team in its group once. Teams earn 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss. The top four teams in each group advance to the knockout rounds. The knockout rounds are a single-elimination tournament consisting of quarterfinals, semifinals, and the gold and bronze medal matches.

Matches consist of four quarters of eight minutes each. During the knockout rounds, if the score is tied after four quarters (32 minutes), penalty shootouts, which is 5 rounds, plus extra rounds if tied, are used to determine the winner.

Men's tournament
# Year Dates Number of Competition format
Teams Matches
1 1900 11–12 August 7 teams 6 matches Single-elimination tournament
2 1904 5–6 September 3 teams Decrease 2 matches Decrease
3 1908 15–22 July 4 teams Increase 4 matches Increase
4 1912 7–16 July 6 teams Increase 10 matches Increase
5 1920 22–29 August 12 teams Increase 19 matches Increase Single-elimination tournament; Bergvall system for second- and third-place
6 1924 13–20 July 13 teams Increase 19 matches Steady
7 1928 4–11 August 14 teams Increase 18 matches Decrease Single-elimination tournament; Bergvall system for third-place
8 1932 4–13 August 5 teams Decrease 8 matches[a] Decrease Round-robin tournament
9 1936 8–15 August 16 teams Increase 40 matches Increase Round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin semi-final pool; round-robin semi-final pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool
10 1948 28 July – 7 August 18 teams Increase 40 matches[b] Steady Series of round-robin elimination pools, followed by round-robin semi-final pools, and then round-robin final pools
11 1952 25 July – 2 August 21 teams Increase 56 matches[c] Increase Single-elimination tournament qualifying; round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin semi-final pool; round-robin semi-final pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool
12 1956 28 November – 7 December 10 teams Decrease 29 matches Decrease Round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool
13 1960 25 August – 3 September 16 teams Increase 40 matches Increase Round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin semi-final pool; round-robin semi-final pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool
14 1964 11–18 October 13 teams Decrease 31 matches Decrease
15 1968 14–26 October 15 teams Increase 63 matches Increase Round-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches
16 1972 27 August – 4 September 16 teams Increase 59 matches Decrease Round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool
17 1976 18–27 July 12 teams Decrease 48 matches Decrease
18 1980 20–29 July 12 teams Steady 48 matches Steady
19 1984 1–10 August 12 teams Steady 42 matches Decrease
20 1988 21 September – 1 October 12 teams Steady 42 matches Steady Round-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches
21 1992 1–9 August 12 teams Steady 42 matches Steady
22 1996 20–28 July 12 teams Steady 48 matches Increase
23 2000 23 September – 1 October 12 teams Steady 48 matches Steady
24 2004 15-29 August 12 teams Steady 44 matches Decrease
25 2008 10–24 August 12 teams Steady 44 matches Steady
26 2012 29 July – 12 August 12 teams Steady 42 matches Decrease
27 2016 6–20 August 12 teams Steady 42 matches Steady
28 2020 12 teams Steady
# Year Dates Teams Matches Competition format
Number of
Women's tournament
# Year Dates Number of Competition format
Teams Matches
1 2000 16–23 September 6 teams 20 matches Round-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches
2 2004 16–26 August 8 teams Increase 20 matches Steady
3 2008 11–21 August 8 teams Steady 20 matches Steady
4 2012 30 July – 9 August 8 teams Steady 24 matches Increase
5 2016 9–19 August 8 teams Steady 24 matches Steady
6 2020 10 teams Increase

Sources:

Game rulesEdit

Maximum number of players per teamEdit

Men's tournament
Maximum number of players
1900–1904 1908–1980 1984–2016 2020–
In the playing area of the pool during an Olympic match 7 7 Steady 7 Steady 7 Steady
During an Olympic match 11 11 Steady 13 Increase 12[5] Decrease
During an Olympic tournament 11 11 Steady 13 Increase 13[5] Steady
per club per nation per nation per nation
Women's tournament
Maximum number of players
2000–2016 2020–
In the playing area of the pool during an Olympic match 7 7 Steady
During an Olympic match 13 12[5] Decrease
During an Olympic tournament 13 13[5] Steady
per nation per nation

Sources:

Anti-dopingEdit

The FINA follows the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) regulations on performance-enhancing drugs. According to the WADA, a positive in-competition test results in disqualification of the player and a suspension that varies based on the number of offences. When a player tests positive, the rest of their team is subjected to testing; another positive test can result in a disqualification of the entire team.[6][7][8][9]

Men's tournamentsEdit

Results summaryEdit

# Year[10] Hosts Gold medal game Bronze medal game Number of teams
Gold Score Silver Bronze Score 4th place
1 1900
Details
France
Paris

Great Britain

(Osborne Swimming Club)
7–2
Belgium
(Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club)

France
(Libellule de Paris)

France
(Pupilles de Neptune de Lille #2)
[d] 7
2 1904
Details
United States
St. Louis
Water polo was a demonstration sport Water polo was a demonstration sport
3 1908
Details
United Kingdom
London

Great Britain
9–2[e]
Belgium

Sweden
[f]
Netherlands
4
4 1912
Details
Sweden
Stockholm

Great Britain
8–0
Sweden

Belgium
5–4
Austria
6
5 1920
Details
Belgium
Antwerp

Great Britain
3–2
Belgium

Sweden
5–0
United States
12
6 1924
Details
France
Paris

France
3–0
Belgium

United States
3–2
Sweden
13
7 1928
Details
Netherlands
Amsterdam

Germany
5–2
Hungary

France
8–1
Great Britain
14
8 1932
Details
United States
Los Angeles

Hungary
Round-robin
Germany

United States
Round-robin
Japan
5
9 1936
Details
Germany
Berlin

Hungary
Round-robin
Germany

Belgium
Round-robin
France
16
10 1948
Details
United Kingdom
London

Italy
Round-robin
Hungary

Netherlands
Round-robin
Belgium
18
11 1952
Details
Finland
Helsinki

Hungary
Round-robin
Yugoslavia

Italy
Round-robin
United States
21
12 1956
Details
Australia
Melbourne

Hungary
Round-robin
Yugoslavia

Soviet Union
Round-robin
Italy
10
13 1960
Details
Italy
Rome

Italy
Round-robin
Soviet Union

Hungary
Round-robin
Yugoslavia
16
14 1964
Details
Japan
Tokyo

Hungary
Round-robin
Yugoslavia

Soviet Union
Round-robin
Italy
13
15 1968
Details
Mexico
Mexico City

Yugoslavia
13–11 (aet)
Soviet Union

Hungary
9–4
Italy
15
16 1972
Details
West Germany
Munich

Soviet Union
Round-robin
Hungary

United States
Round-robin
West Germany
16
17 1976
Details
Canada
Montreal

Hungary
Round-robin
Italy

Netherlands
Round-robin
Romania
12
18 1980
Details
Soviet Union
Moscow

Soviet Union
Round-robin
Yugoslavia

Hungary
Round-robin
Spain
12
19 1984
Details
United States
Los Angeles

Yugoslavia
Round-robin
United States

West Germany
Round-robin
Spain
12
20 1988
Details
South Korea
Seoul

Yugoslavia
9–7 (aet)
United States

Soviet Union
14–13
West Germany
12
21 1992
Details
Spain
Barcelona

Italy
9–8 (aet)
Spain

Unified Team
8–4
United States
12
22 1996
Details
United States
Atlanta

Spain
7–5
Croatia

Italy
20–18 (aet)
Hungary
12
23 2000
Details
Australia
Sydney

Hungary
13–6
Russia

FR Yugoslavia[g]
8–3
Spain
12
24 2004
Details
Greece
Athens

Hungary
8–7
Serbia and Montenegro

Russia
6–5
Greece
12
25 2008
Details
China
Beijing

Hungary
14–10
United States

Serbia
6–4
Montenegro
12
26 2012
Details
United Kingdom
London

Croatia
8–6
Italy

Serbia
12–11
Montenegro
12
27 2016
Details
Brazil
Rio

Serbia
11–7
Croatia

Italy
12–10
Montenegro
12
28 2020
Details
Japan
Tokyo
12
# Year Hosts Gold Score Silver Bronze Score 4th place Number of teams
Gold medal game Bronze medal game

Sources:

Confederation statisticsEdit

Best performances by tournamentEdit

This is a summary of the best performances of each confederation in each tournament.[10]

Note: italic number in header means demonstration tournament was held.

Legend
  •  1st  – Champions
  •  2nd  – Runners-up
  •  3th  – Third place
  •  4th  – Fourth place
  • Q – Qualified for forthcoming tournament
Confederation 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20
Africa – CANA 7th 10th 9th 12th 15th 12th Q
Americas – ASUA 4th 3rd 7th 3rd 9th 10th 4th 5th 7th 9th 5th 3rd 7th 5th 2nd 2nd 4th 7th 6th 7th 2nd 8th 10th Q
Asia – AASF 4th 14th 12th 21st 10th 14th 11th 12th 15th 12th 9th 11th 9th 11th 12th 11th 12th Q
Europe – LEN 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st Q
Oceania – OSA 18th 19th 9th 15th 10th 12th 11th 7th 5th 8th 5th 8th 9th 8th 7th 9th Q
Nations 4 4 6 12 13 14 5 16 18 21 10 16 13 15 16 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12

Team statisticsEdit

Participating teamsEdit

Note: Numbers refer to the final placing of each team at the respective Games; italic number in header means demonstration tournament was held.

Legend
  •  1  – Champions
  •  2  – Runners-up
  •  3  – Third place
  •  4  – Fourth place
  •      – Disqualified
  •     – Hosts
  • = – More than one team tied for that rank
  • Q – Qualified for forthcoming tournament
  • Defunct team
Africa – CANA (2 teams)
Men's team[10] 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
 Egypt 7 10 13 12 15 12 6
 South Africa 14 9 Q 2
Americas – ASUA (8 teams)
Men's team[10] 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
 Argentina 13 10 16 11 4
 Brazil 6 [a] 9 12 13 13 12 8 8
 Canada 16 9 10 11 4
 Chile 17 1
 Cuba 8 9 7 5 8 5
 Mexico 18 11 13 10 4
 United States 4 3 7 3 9 11 4 5 7 9 5 3 2 2 4 7 6 7 2 8 10 Q 21
 Uruguay 13 16 2
Asia – AASF (7 teams)
Men's team[10] 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
 China 9 11 12 3
 India 12 21 2
 Iran 12 1
 Japan 4 14 14 11 12 15 11 12 Q 8
 Kazakhstan 9 11 11 Q 3
 Singapore 10 1
 South Korea 12 1
Europe – LEN (33 teams)
Men's team[10] 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
 Austria 4 7 13 3
 Belgium 2 2 3 2 2 6 3 4 6 16 7 11
 Bulgaria 11 12 2
 Croatia 2 7 10 6 1 2 6
 Czechoslovakia 12 6 10 11 12 Defunct 5
 East Germany 6 Merged with West Germany 1
 France 3[d] 6 9 1 3 4 6 10 10 11 11 11
 Germany =5 1 2 2 See East Germany and West Germany 7 9 5 10 8
 Great Britain 1 1 1 1 8 4 8 13 12 7 12 11
 Greece 8 13 15 14 14 10 8 9 10 6 10 4 7 9 6 15
 Hungary 5 5 2 1 1 2 1 1 3 1 3 2 1 3 5 6 4 1 1 1 5 5 Q 22
Men's team 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
 Iceland 15 1
 Ireland 9 14 2
 Italy 10 11 1 3 4 1 4 4 6 2 8 7 7 1 3 5 8 9 2 3 Q 20
 Luxembourg 11 1
 Malta 8 16 2
 Montenegro 4 4 4 3
 Netherlands 4 5 7 5 5 3 5 8 8 7 7 3 6 6 9 10 11 17
 Portugal 20 1
 Romania 17 8 5 5 8 4 9 11 10 9
 Russia 5 2 3 3
 Serbia 3 3 1 Q 3
 Serbia and Montenegro 2 Defunct 1
Men's team 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
 Slovakia 12 1
 Soviet Union 7 3 2 3 2 1 8 1 3 Defunct 9
 Spain 7 10 9 8 8 9 10 4 4 6 2 1 4 6 5 6 7 Q 17
 Sweden 3 2 3 4 6 5 11 11 8
  Switzerland 11 12 12 12 14 5
 Ukraine 12 1
International Olympic Committee Unified Team 3 Defunct 1
 West Germany 15 6 6 6 10 4 6 3 4 See Germany 9
 Yugoslavia 10 9 2 2 4 2 1 5 5 2 1 1 Defunct 12
 FR Yugoslavia[g] 8 3 Defunct 2
Oceania – OSA (1 team)
Men's team[10] 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
 Australia 18 19 9 15 10 12 11 7 5 8 5 8 9 8 7 9 Q 16
Total teams 7 4 6 12 13 14 5 16 18 21 10 16 13 15 16 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12

Finishes in the top fourEdit

The following table is pre-sorted by total finishes in the top four (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), name of the team (in ascending order), respectively.

Legend
  • *Host team
  • Defunct team
Rk Men's team[10] Total Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place First Last
1  Hungary 16 9 (1932, 1936, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1976, 2000, 2004, 2008) 3 (1928, 1948, 1972) 3 (1960, 1968, 1980) 1 (1996) 1928 2008
2  Italy 13 3 (1948, 1960*, 1992) 2 (1976, 2012) 3 (1952, 1996, 2016) 3 (1956, 1964, 1968) 1948 2016
3  United States 9 3 (1984*, 1988, 2008) 3 (1924, 1932*, 1972) 3 (1920, 1952, 1992) 1920 2008
4  Yugoslavia 8 3 (1968, 1984, 1988) 4 (1952, 1956, 1964, 1980) 1 (1960) 1952 1988
5  Soviet Union 7 2 (1972, 1980*) 2 (1960, 1968) 3 (1956, 1964, 1988) 1956 1988
6  Belgium 7 4 (1900, 1908, 1920*, 1924) 2 (1912, 1936) 1 (1948) 1900 1948
7  Great Britain 5 4 (1900, 1908*, 1912, 1920) 1 (1928) 1900 1928
8  Spain 5 1 (1996) 1 (1992*) 3 (1980, 1984, 2000) 1980 2000
9  France 5 1 (1924*) 3 (1900*×2[d], 1928) 1 (1936) 1900 1936
10  Sweden 4 1 (1912*) 2 (1908, 1920) 1 (1924) 1908 1924
11  Croatia 3 1 (2012) 2 (1996, 2016) 1996 2016
 Germany 1 (1928) 2 (1932, 1936*) 1928 1936
13  Serbia 3 1 (2016) 2 (2008, 2012) 2008 2016
14  Netherlands 3 2 (1948, 1976) 1 (1908) 1908 1976
15  West Germany 3 1 (1984) 2 (1972*, 1988) 1972 1988
16  Montenegro 3 3 (2008, 2012, 2016) 2008 2016
17  Russia 2 1 (2000) 1 (2004) 2000 2004
18  Serbia and Montenegro 1 1 (2004) 2004 2004
19  FR Yugoslavia[g] 1 1 (2000) 2000 2000
International Olympic Committee Unified Team 1 (1992) 1992 1992
21  Austria 1 1 (1912) 1912 1912
 Greece 1 (2004*) 2004 2004
 Japan 1 (1932) 1932 1932
 Romania 1 (1976) 1976 1976
Rk Men's team Total Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place First Last

Medal tableEdit

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), name of the team (in ascending order), respectively.

Hungary is the most successful country in men's Olympic water polo tournament, with nine gold, three silver and three bronze.[10]

Legend
  • Defunct team
RankMen's teamGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Hungary93315
2 Great Britain4004
3 Yugoslavia3407
4 Italy3238
5 Soviet Union2237
6 Croatia1203
 Germany1203
8 Spain1102
9 France[d]1034
10 Serbia1023
11 Belgium0426
12 United States0336
13 Sweden0123
14 Russia0112
15 Serbia and Montenegro0101
16 Netherlands0022
17 FR Yugoslavia[g]0011
International Olympic Committee Unified Team0011
 West Germany0011
Totals (19 men's teams)26262779

Champions (results and squads)Edit

Serbia men's national water polo team celebrated after the gold medal match of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The following table shows results of Olympic champions in men's water polo by tournament.

Legend
  •  6  – Winning 6 matches during the tournament
  •  4  – Drawing 4 matches during the tournament
  •  2  – Losing 2 matches during the tournament
  •  100.0%  – Winning all matches during the tournament
  •  team  – Olympic winning streak (winning three or more Olympic titles in a row)
  •     – Host team
  • Defunct team
Abbreviation
  • MP – Matches played
  • W – Won
  • D – Drawn
  • L – Lost
  • GF – Goals for
  • GA – Goals against
  • GD – Goals difference
  • GF/MP – Goals for per match
  • GA/MP – Goals against per match
  • GD/MP – Goals difference per match
Results of champions by tournament
# Men's tournament Champion MP W D L Win % GF GA GD GF/MP GA/MP GD/MP
1 Paris 1900  Great Britain (1st title) 3 3 0 0 100.0% 29 3 26 9.667 1.000 8.667
2 St. Louis 1904 Water polo was a demonstration sport
3 London 1908  Great Britain (2nd title) 1[e] 1 0 0 100.0% 9 2 7 9.000 2.000 7.000
4 Stockholm 1912  Great Britain (3rd title) 3 3 0 0 100.0% 21 8 13 7.000 2.667 4.333
5 Antwerp 1920  Great Britain (4th title) 3 3 0 0 100.0% 19 4 15 6.333 1.333 5.000
6 Paris 1924  France (1st title) 4 4 0 0 100.0% 16 6 10 4.000 1.500 2.500
7 Amsterdam 1928  Germany (1st title) 3 3 0 0 100.0% 18 10 8 6.000 3.333 2.667
8 Los Angeles 1932  Hungary (1st title) 3[a] 3 0 0 100.0% 30 2 28 10.000 0.667 9.333
9 Berlin 1936  Hungary (2nd title) 7 6 1 0 85.7% 44 4 40 6.286 0.571 5.714
10 London 1948  Italy (1st title) 7[b] 6 1 0 85.7% 35 14 21 5.000 2.000 3.000
11 Helsinki 1952  Hungary (3rd title) 8 6 2 0 75.0% 53 16 37 6.625 2.000 4.625
12 Melbourne 1956  Hungary (4th title) 6 6 0 0 100.0% 26 4 22 4.333 0.667 3.667
13 Rome 1960  Italy (2nd title) 7 6 1 0 85.7% 31 12 19 4.429 1.714 2.714
14 Tokyo 1964  Hungary (5th title) 6 5 1 0 83.3% 34 13 21 5.667 2.167 3.500
15 Mexico City 1968  Yugoslavia (1st title) 9 7 1 1 77.8% 86 35 51 9.556 3.889 5.667
16 Munich 1972  Soviet Union (1st title) 8 6 2 0 75.0% 48 24 24 6.000 3.000 3.000
17 Montreal 1976  Hungary (6th title) 8 7 1 0 87.5% 45 32 13 5.625 4.000 1.625
18 Moscow 1980  Soviet Union (2nd title) 8 8 0 0 100.0% 58 31 27 7.250 3.875 3.375
19 Los Angeles 1984  Yugoslavia (2nd title) 7 6 1 0 85.7% 72 44 28 10.286 6.286 4.000
20 Seoul 1988  Yugoslavia (3rd title) 7 6 0 1 85.7% 83 55 28 11.857 7.857 4.000
21 Barcelona 1992  Italy (3rd title) 7 5 2 0 71.4% 59 50 9 8.429 7.143 1.286
22 Atlanta 1996  Spain (1st title) 8 6 0 2 75.0% 58 48 10 7.250 6.000 1.250
23 Sydney 2000  Hungary (7th title) 8 6 0 2 75.0% 78 57 21 9.750 7.125 2.625
24 Athens 2004  Hungary (8th title) 7 7 0 0 100.0% 59 39 20 8.429 5.571 2.857
25 Beijing 2008  Hungary (9th title) 7 6 1 0 85.7% 85 55 30 12.143 7.857 4.286
26 London 2012  Croatia (1st title) 8 8 0 0 100.0% 73 42 31 9.125 5.250 3.875
27 Rio de Janeiro 2016  Serbia (1st title) 8 5 2 1 62.5% 80 66 14 10.000 8.250 1.750
# Men's tournament Total 161 138 16 7 85.7% 1249 676 573 7.758 4.199 3.559
Champion MP W D L Win % GF GA GD GF/MP GA/MP GD/MP

Sources:

From 1900 to 1928, single-elimination tournaments were used to determine Olympic champions in men's water polo. The following table shows men's teams that won all matches during the Olympic tournament since 1932.

Winning all matches during the tournament since 1932
# Year Champion MP W D L Win %
1 1932  Hungary (1st title) 3[a] 3 0 0 100.0%
2 1956  Hungary (4th title) 6 6 0 0 100.0%
3 1980  Soviet Union (2nd title) 8 8 0 0 100.0%
4 2004  Hungary (8th title) 7 7 0 0 100.0%
5 2012  Croatia (1st title) 8 8 0 0 100.0%

The following tables show records of goals for per match.

Historical progression of records – goals for per match
Goals for
per match
Achievement Year Champion Date of
winning gold
Duration of record
9.667 Set record 1900  Great Britain (1st title) 12 August 1900 32 years, 1 day
10.000 Broke record 1932  Hungary (1st title) 13 August 1932 51 years, 363 days
10.286 Broke record 1984  Yugoslavia (2nd title) 10 August 1984 4 years, 52 days
11.857 Broke record 1988  Yugoslavia (3rd title) 1 October 1988 19 years, 328 days
12.143 Broke record 2008  Hungary (9th title) 24 August 2008 12 years, 91 days

The following tables show records of goals against per match.

The following tables show records of goals difference per match.

The following table shows number of players and average age, height and weight of Olympic champions in men's water polo by tournament.

Legend
  •  team  – Olympic winning streak
  •     – Host team
  • Defunct team
Winning squads by tournament
# Men's tournament Champion Players Returning Olympians Average
Number Number % Age Height Weight
1 Paris 1900  Great Britain (1st title) 7 0 0.0%
2 St. Louis 1904 Water polo was a demonstration sport
3 London 1908  Great Britain (2nd title) 7 0 0.0% 26 years, 111 days 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
4 Stockholm 1912  Great Britain (3rd title) 7 4 57.1% 29 years, 16 days
5 Antwerp 1920  Great Britain (4th title) 7 3 42.9% 33 years, 279 days
6 Paris 1924  France (1st title) 7 3 42.9% 26 years, 303 days
7 Amsterdam 1928  Germany (1st title) 8 0 0.0% 24 years, 329 days
8 Los Angeles 1932  Hungary (1st title) 10 7 70.0% 27 years, 291 days
9 Berlin 1936  Hungary (2nd title) 11 5 45.5% 26 years, 66 days
10 London 1948  Italy (1st title) 9 0 0.0% 30 years, 203 days
11 Helsinki 1952  Hungary (3rd title) 13 6 46.2% 26 years, 337 days
12 Melbourne 1956  Hungary (4th title) 12 7 58.3% 26 years, 148 days 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)[h] 80 kg (176 lb)[i]
13 Rome 1960  Italy (2nd title) 12 3 25.0% 22 years, 363 days 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in) 81 kg (179 lb)
14 Tokyo 1964  Hungary (5th title) 12 10 83.3% 28 years, 208 days 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in) 82 kg (181 lb)
15 Mexico City 1968  Yugoslavia (1st title) 11 5 45.5% 26 years, 151 days 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) 94 kg (207 lb)
16 Munich 1972  Soviet Union (1st title) 11 5 45.5% 26 years, 351 days 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in) 87 kg (192 lb)
17 Montreal 1976  Hungary (6th title) 11 6 54.5% 25 years, 333 days 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in) 88 kg (194 lb)
18 Moscow 1980  Soviet Union (2nd title) 11 4 36.4% 25 years, 117 days 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in) 87 kg (192 lb)
19 Los Angeles 1984  Yugoslavia (2nd title) 13 3 23.1% 23 years, 362 days 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 92 kg (203 lb)
20 Seoul 1988  Yugoslavia (3rd title) 13 6 46.2% 23 years, 341 days 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 94 kg (207 lb)
21 Barcelona 1992  Italy (3rd title) 13 7 53.8% 26 years, 224 days 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[j] 81 kg (179 lb)[k]
22 Atlanta 1996  Spain (1st title) 13 9 69.2% 26 years, 279 days 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in) 81 kg (179 lb)
23 Sydney 2000  Hungary (7th title) 13 5 38.5% 25 years, 254 days 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 93 kg (205 lb)
24 Athens 2004  Hungary (8th title) 13 10 76.9% 27 years, 344 days 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 96 kg (212 lb)
25 Beijing 2008  Hungary (9th title) 13 9 69.2% 29 years, 248 days 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 100 kg (220 lb)
26 London 2012  Croatia (1st title) 13 8 61.5% 29 years, 85 days 1.97 m (6 ft 6 in) 102 kg (225 lb)
27 Rio de Janeiro 2016  Serbia (1st title) 13 9 69.2% 28 years, 205 days 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 96 kg (212 lb)
# Men's tournament Champion Number Number % Age Height Weight
Players Returning Olympians Average

Sources:

The following tables show records of the number of returning Olympians.

The following tables show records of average age.

The following tables show records of average height.

Historical progression of records – average height (statistics since 1956)
Average height Achievement Year Champion Date of
winning gold
Duration of record
1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)[h] Set record 1956  Hungary (4th title) 7 December 1956 3 years, 271 days
1.82 m (6 ft 0 in) Broke record 1960  Italy (2nd title) 3 September 1960 8 years, 53 days
Tied record 1964  Hungary (5th title) 18 October 1964
1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) Broke record 1968  Yugoslavia (1st title) 26 October 1968 15 years, 289 days
1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) Broke record 1984  Yugoslavia (2nd title) 10 August 1984 4 years, 52 days
1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) Broke record 1988  Yugoslavia (3rd title) 1 October 1988 15 years, 333 days
1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) Broke record 2004  Hungary (8th title) 29 August 2004 7 years, 349 days
Tied record 2008  Hungary (9th title) 24 August 2008
1.97 m (6 ft 6 in) Broke record 2012  Croatia (1st title) 12 August 2012 8 years, 103 days

The following tables show records of average weight.

Historical progression of records – average weight (statistics since 1956)
Average weight Achievement Year Champion Date of
winning gold
Duration of record
80 kg (176 lb)[i] Set record 1956  Hungary (4th title) 7 December 1956 3 years, 271 days
81 kg (179 lb) Broke record 1960  Italy (2nd title) 3 September 1960 4 years, 45 days
82 kg (181 lb) Broke record 1964  Hungary (5th title) 18 October 1964 4 years, 8 days
94 kg (207 lb) Broke record 1968  Yugoslavia (1st title) 26 October 1968 35 years, 308 days
Tied record 1988  Yugoslavia (3rd title) 1 October 1988
96 kg (212 lb) Broke record 2004  Hungary (8th title) 29 August 2004 3 years, 361 days
100 kg (220 lb) Broke record 2008  Hungary (9th title) 24 August 2008 3 years, 354 days
102 kg (225 lb) Broke record 2012  Croatia (1st title) 12 August 2012 8 years, 103 days

Player statisticsEdit

(C) Captain Apps Appearances Ref Reference Rk Rank
L/R Handedness Pos Playing position FP Field player GK Goalkeeper

Age recordsEdit

The following tables show the oldest and youngest players who competed in men's water polo at the Summer Olympics, and the oldest and youngest male Olympic medalists in water polo.

Legend
  •     – Host team

Appearance

Record Age of the
first Olympic
water polo match
Player Men's team Pos Date of birth Date of the
first Olympic
water polo match
Ref
Oldest Olympic debutant 42 years, 303 days Alexandr Polukhin  Kazakhstan GK 15 October 1961 13 August 2004 [11]
Youngest male Olympian 14 years, 133 days Alfonso Tusell  Spain FP 11 April 1906 22 August 1920 [12]
Record Age of the
last Olympic
water polo match
Player Men's team Pos Date of birth Date of the
last Olympic
water polo match
Ref
Oldest male Olympian 45 years, 169 days Charles Smith  Great Britain GK 26 January 1879 13 July 1924 [13]

Medalist

Record Age of receiving
the last Olympic
gold/silver/bronze
medal in water polo
Player Men's team Pos Date of birth Date of receiving
the last Olympic
gold/silver/bronze
medal in water polo
Ref
Oldest male Olympic gold medalist 41 years, 216 days Charles Smith  Great Britain GK 26 January 1879 29 August 1920 [13]
Oldest male Olympic silver medalist 41 years, 128 days Boris Goykhman  Soviet Union GK 28 April 1919 3 September 1960 [14]
Oldest male Olympic bronze medalist 37 years, 223 days Boris Goykhman  Soviet Union GK 28 April 1919 7 December 1956 [14]
Record Age of receiving
the first Olympic
gold/silver/bronze
medal in water polo
Player Men's team Pos Date of birth Date of receiving
the first Olympic
gold/silver/bronze
medal in water polo
Ref
Youngest male Olympic gold medalist 17 years, 40 days György Kárpáti  Hungary FP 23 June 1935 2 August 1952 [15]
Youngest male Olympic silver medalist 18 years, 334 days Herman Meyboom  Belgium FP 23 August 1889 22 July 1908 [16]
Youngest male Olympic bronze medalist 15 years, 306 days Paul Vasseur  France FP 10 October 1884 12 August 1900 [17]

Multiple appearances (five-time Olympians)Edit

Manuel Estiarte of Spain is the only water polo player to compete at six Olympic Games (1980–2000).

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic appearances (in descending order), date of the last Olympic appearance (in ascending order), date of the first Olympic appearance (in ascending order), date of birth (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively.

Fourteen athletes competed in water polo at five or more Olympic Games between 1900 and 2016 inclusive. Paul Radmilovic, representing Great Britain, is the first water polo player to compete at five Olympics (1908–1928).[18]

Four athletes (Manuel Estiarte, Salvador Gómez, Jesús Rollán and Jordi Sans) were all members of the Spain men's national water polo team (1988–2000). Manuel Estiarte is the first and only water polo player (man or woman) to compete at six Olympics (1980–2000).[19] Jesús Rollán is the first water polo goalkeeper of either gender to compete at five Olympics (1984–2004).[20]

Tony Azevedo of the United States is the first non-European water polo player to compete at five Olympic Games (2000–2016).[21]

Italian goalkeeper Stefano Tempesti competed at five Olympics between 2000 and 2016.[22]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Male athletes who competed in water polo at five or more Olympics
Apps Player Birth Height Men's team Pos Water polo tournament Period
(age of
first/last)
Medals Ref
G S B T
6 Manuel Estiarte 1961 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
 Spain FP 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 20 years
(18/38)
1 1 0 2 [19]
5 Paul Radmilovic 1886 1.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 Great Britain FP 1908 1912 1920 1924 1928 Does not appear 20 years
(22/42)
3 0 0 3 [18]
Dezső Gyarmati 1927 1.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Hungary FP 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 Does not appear 16 years
(20/36)
3 1 1 5 [23]
Gianni De Magistris 1950 1.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Italy FP 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 Does not appear 16 years
(17/33)
0 1 0 1 [24]
Jordi Sans 1965 1.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 Spain FP 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 Does not appear 16 years
(18/35)
1 1 0 2 [25]
George Mavrotas 1967 1.75 m
(5 ft 9 in)
 Greece FP 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 Does not appear 16 years
(17/33)
0 0 0 0 [26]
Salvador Gómez 1968 1.94 m
(6 ft 4 in)
 Spain FP 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 Does not appear 16 years
(20/36)
1 1 0 2 [27]
Jesús Rollán 1968 1.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
 Spain GK 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 Does not appear 16 years
(20/36)
1 1 0 2 [20]
Tibor Benedek 1972 1.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
 Hungary FP 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 Does not appear 16 years
(20/36)
3 0 0 3 [28]
Igor Hinić 1975 2.02 m
(6 ft 8 in)
 Croatia FP 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 Does not appear 16 years
(20/36)
1 1 0 2 [29]
Tamás Kásás 1976 2.00 m
(6 ft 7 in)
 Hungary FP 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 Does not appear 16 years
(20/36)
3 0 0 3 [30]
Georgios Afroudakis 1976 1.94 m
(6 ft 4 in)
 Greece FP 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 Does not appear 16 years
(19/35)
0 0 0 0 [31]
Stefano Tempesti 1979 2.05 m
(6 ft 9 in)
 Italy GK 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 Does not appear 16 years
(21/37)
0 1 1 2 [22]
Tony Azevedo 1981 1.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 United States FP 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 Does not appear 16 years
(18/34)
0 1 0 1 [21]
Apps Player Birth Height Men's team Pos Water polo tournament Period
(age of
first/last)
G S B T Ref
Medals

Multiple medalistsEdit

The following table is pre-sorted by total number of Olympic medals (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), date of receiving the last Olympic medal (in ascending order), date of receiving the first Olympic medal (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively.

Eight male athletes won four or more Olympic medals in water polo. Aside from Belgian player Joseph Pletincx who won medals before World War II[32], all were members of the Hungary men's national water polo team. Dezső Gyarmati is the first and only athlete (man or woman) to win five Olympic medals in water polo (three gold, one silver and one bronze).[23]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Male athletes who won four or more Olympic medals in water polo
Rk Player Birth Height Men's team Pos Water polo tournament Period
(age of
first/last)
Medals Ref
G S B T
1 Dezső Gyarmati 1927 1.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Hungary FP 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 16 years
(20/36)
3 1 1 5 [23]
2 György Kárpáti 1935 1.67 m
(5 ft 6 in)
 Hungary FP 1952 1956 1960 1964 Does not appear 12 years
(17/29)
3 0 1 4 [15]
3 László Jeney 1923 1.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 Hungary GK 1948 1952 1956 1960 Does not appear 12 years
(25/37)
2 1 1 4 [33]
4 Mihály Mayer 1933 1.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Hungary FP 1956 1960 1964 1968 Does not appear 12 years
(22/34)
2 0 2 4 [34]
5 András Bodnár 1942 1.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 Hungary FP 1960 1964 1968 1972 Does not appear 12 years
(18/30)
1 1 2 4 [35]
Endre Molnár 1945 1.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Hungary GK 1968 1972 1976 1980 Does not appear 12 years
(23/34)
1 1 2 4 [36]
István Szívós Jr. 1948 2.02 m
(6 ft 8 in)
 Hungary FP 1968 1972 1976 1980 Does not appear 12 years
(20/32)
1 1 2 4 [37]
8 Joseph Pletincx 1888  Belgium FP 1908 1912 1920 1924 Does not appear 16 years
(20/36)
0 3 1 4 [32]
Rk Player Birth Height Men's team Pos Water polo tournament Period
(age of
first/last)
G S B T Ref
Medals

Multiple gold medalistsEdit

Paul Radmilovic, representing Great Britain, won three gold medals in water polo at the 1908, 1912 and 1920 Olympics.

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), date of receiving the last Olympic gold medal (in ascending order), date of receiving the first Olympic gold medal (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively.

Ten athletes won three or more Olympic gold medals in water polo. Six players (Tibor Benedek, Péter Biros, Tamás Kásás, Gergely Kiss, Tamás Molnár and Zoltán Szécsi) were all members of the Hungary men's national water polo team that won three consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2000, 2004 and 2008.[28][38][30][39][40][41]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Male athletes who won three or more Olympic gold medals in water polo
Rk Player Birth Height Men's team Pos Water polo tournament Period
(age of
first/last)
Medals Ref
G S B T
1 Dezső Gyarmati 1927 1.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Hungary FP 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 16 years
(20/36)
3 1 1 5 [23]
2 György Kárpáti 1935 1.67 m
(5 ft 6 in)
 Hungary FP 1952 1956 1960 1964 Does not appear 12 years
(17/29)
3 0 1 4 [15]
3 Paul Radmilovic 1886 1.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 Great Britain FP 1908 1912 1920 1924 1928 20 years
(22/42)
3 0 0 3 [18]
Charles Smith 1879 1.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Great Britain GK 1908 1912 1920 1924 Does not appear 16 years
(29/45)
3 0 0 3 [13]
Tibor Benedek 1972 1.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
 Hungary FP 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 16 years
(20/36)
3 0 0 3 [28]
Péter Biros 1976 1.96 m
(6 ft 5 in)
 Hungary FP 2000 2004 2008 2012 Does not appear 12 years
(24/36)
3 0 0 3 [38]
Tamás Kásás 1976 2.00 m
(6 ft 7 in)
 Hungary FP 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 16 years
(20/36)
3 0 0 3 [30]
Gergely Kiss 1977 1.98 m
(6 ft 6 in)
 Hungary FP 2000 2004 2008 2012 Does not appear 12 years
(22/34)
3 0 0 3 [39]
Tamás Molnár 1975 1.93 m
(6 ft 4 in)
 Hungary FP 2000 2004 2008 Does not appear Does not appear 8 years
(25/33)
3 0 0 3 [40]
Zoltán Szécsi 1977 1.98 m
(6 ft 6 in)
 Hungary GK 2000 2004 2008 2012 Does not appear 12 years
(22/34)
3 0 0 3 [41]
Rk Player Birth Height Men's team Pos Water polo tournament Period
(age of
first/last)
G S B T Ref
Medals

Top goalscorers by tournamentEdit

Filip Filipović scored 19 goals at the 2016 Olympics, helping Serbia win gold.

The following table is pre-sorted by edition of the Olympics (in ascending order), number of matches played (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively.

Hans Schneider of Germany scored 22 goals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics,[42] which stood as an Olympic water polo record for one Games until 1968, when the Dutch player Nico van der Voet netted 33 goals in Mexico City.[43]

Spaniard Manuel Estiarte holds the record for the most goals scored by a water polo player in a single Olympic tournament, scoring 34 goals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. At 18 years old, he made his Olympic debut at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, where he was the youngest-ever male top goalscorer with 21 goals. He was also the top goalscorer at the 1988 Seoul Olympics with 27 goals, and the joint top goalscorers at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics with 22 goals.[19]

Hungrian left-handed player Tibor Benedek was the joint top goalscorer at the 1992 Games with 22 goals, and the top goalscorer at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics with 19 goals.[28]

Aleksandar Šapić, representing FR Yugoslavia, was the top goalscorer at the 2000 Sydney Olympics with 18 goals. Four years later, he netted 18 goals for Serbia and Montenegro, becoming the top goalscorer at the 2004 Athens Olympics.[44]

31-year-old István Szívós Sr. scored 16 goals for Hungary at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics,[45] which stood as an age record for the oldest top goalscorer in a single Olympic water polo tournament until 2008, when 33-year-old Alessandro Calcaterra of Italy netted 27 goals in Beijing.[46]

Left-hander Filip Filipović of Serbia was the joint top goalscorer at the 2016 Olympics, with 19 goals. He netted two goals in the gold medal match, helping the Serbia team win the Olympics. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the men's water polo tournament.[47]

Legend
  •     – Host team
Top male goalscorers by tournament
Year Player Birth Age Height L/R Goals Matches
played
Goals
per
match
Men's team Finish Ref
1900 John Jarvis 1872 28 6 1 6.000  Great Britain 1st of 7
teams
[48]
1908 Fernand Feyaerts 1880 27–28 8 3 2.667  Belgium 2nd of 4
teams
[49]
1912 Robert Andersson 1886 25 9 4 2.250  Sweden 2nd of 6
teams
[50]
1920 Erik Andersson 1896 24 10 4 2.500  Sweden 3rd of 12
teams
[51]
1924 Pierre Dewin 1894 29–30 14 5 2.800  Belgium 2nd of 13
teams
[52]
1928 Ferenc Keserű 1903 24 1.55 m
(5 ft 1 in)
10 4 2.500  Hungary 2nd of 14
teams
[53]
1932 Philip Daubenspeck 1905 26 14 4 3.500  United States 3rd of 5
teams
[54]
1936 Hans Schneider 1909 26 22 7 3.143  Germany 2nd of 16
teams
[42]
1948 Aldo Ghira 1920 28 18[b] 7[b] 2.571  Italy 1st of 18
teams
[55]
1952 István Szívós Sr. 1920 31 1.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
Right 16 6 2.667  Hungary 1st of 21
teams
[45]
Ruud van Feggelen 1924 28 16[c] 8[c] 2.000  Netherlands 5th of 21
teams
[56]
1956 Petre Mshvenieradze 1929 27 1.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
11 7 1.571  Soviet Union 3rd of 10
teams
[57]
1960 Fred Tisue 1938 21 1.75 m
(5 ft 9 in)
12 7 1.714  United States 7th of 16
teams
[58]
Aurel Zahan 1938 22 1.83 m
(6 ft 0 in)
12 7 1.714  Romania 5th of 16
teams
[59]
1964 Nico van der Voet 1944 20 1.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
10 7 1.429  Netherlands 8ht of 13
teams
[43]
1968 Nico van der Voet 1944 24 1.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
33 9 3.667  Netherlands 7th of 15
teams
[43]
1972 Carlos Sánchez 1952 20 1.71 m
(5 ft 7 in)
18 9 2.000  Cuba 9th of 16
teams
[60]
1976 Tamás Faragó 1952 23 1.94 m
(6 ft 4 in)
Right 22 8 2.750  Hungary 1st of 12
teams
[61]
1980 Manuel Estiarte 1961 18 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right 21 8 2.625  Spain 4th of 12
teams
[19]
1984 Manuel Estiarte (C) 1961 22 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right 34 7 4.857  Spain 4th of 12
teams
[19]
1988 Manuel Estiarte (C) 1961 26 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right 27 7 3.857  Spain 6th of 12
teams
[19]
1992 Tibor Benedek 1972 20 1.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
Left 22 7 3.143  Hungary 6th of 12
teams
[28]
Manuel Estiarte (C) 1961 30 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right 22 7 3.143  Spain 2nd of 12
teams
[19]
1996 Tibor Benedek 1972 24 1.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
Left 19 8 2.375  Hungary 4th of 12
teams
[28]
2000 Aleksandar Šapić 1978 22 1.88 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right 18 8 2.250  FR Yugoslavia 3rd of 12
teams
[44]
2004 Aleksandar Šapić 1978 26 1.88 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right 18 8 2.250  Serbia and Montenegro 2nd of 12
teams
[44]
2008 Alessandro Calcaterra (C) 1975 33 1.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right 27 8 3.375  Italy 9th of 12
teams
[46]
2012 Andrija Prlainović 1987 25 1.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right 22 8 2.750  Serbia 3rd of 12
teams
[62]
2016 Filip Filipović 1987 29 1.96 m
(6 ft 5 in)
Left 19 8 2.375  Serbia 1st of 12
teams
[47]
Guillermo Molina (C) 1984 32 1.95 m
(6 ft 5 in)
Right 19 8 2.375  Spain 7th of 12
teams
[63]
Year Player Birth Age Height L/R Goals Matches
played
Goals
per
match
Men's team Finish Ref

Sources:

Nico van der Voet of the Netherlands scored 33 goals at the 1968 Olympics.

The following table shows the historical progression of the record of goals scored by a male water polo player in a single Olympic tournament.

Goals Achievement Year Player Age Height L/R Men's team Date Duration of record Ref
6 Set record 1900 John Jarvis 28  Great Britain 12 August 1900 7 years, 345 days [48]
8 Broke record 1908 Fernand Feyaerts 27–28  Belgium 22 July 1908 3 years, 360 days [49]
9 Broke record 1912 Robert Andersson 25  Sweden 16 July 1912 8 years, 44 days [50]
10 Broke record 1920 Erik Andersson 24  Sweden 29 August 1920 3 years, 326 days [51]
14 Broke record 1924 Pierre Dewin 29–30  Belgium 20 July 1924 12 years, 26 days [52]
Tied record 1932 Philip Daubenspeck 26  United States 13 August 1932 [54]
22 Broke record 1936 Hans Schneider 26  Germany 15 August 1936 32 years, 72 days [42]
33 Broke record 1968 Nico van der Voet 24 1.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Netherlands 26 October 1968 15 years, 289 days [43]
34 Broke record 1984 Manuel Estiarte 22 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right  Spain 10 August 1984 36 years, 105 days [19]
Goals Achievement Year Player Age Height L/R Men's team Date Duration of record Ref

All-time top goalscorersEdit

Aleksandar Šapić scored 64 goals at four Olympics (1996–2008).

The following table is pre-sorted by number of total goals (in descending order), number of total Olympic matches played (in ascending order), date of the last Olympic match played (in ascending order), date of the first Olympic match played (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively.

Six-time Olympian Manuel Estiarte holds the record for the most goals scored by a water polo player in Olympic history, with 127 goals, far more than any other player. At his first three Olympics (1980–1988), Estiarte netted 82 goals.[19]

Hungarian left-hander Tibor Benedek scored 65 goals at five Olympics (1992–2008),[28] and his teammate Tamás Kásás netted 56 goals between 1996 and 2012.[30]

Aleksandar Šapić, representing FR Yugoslavia in 1996 and 2000, Serbia and Montenegro in 2004, and Serbia in 2008, scored 64 goals in 32 matches.[44]

Tony Azevedo of the United States holds the record for the most goals scored by a non-European water polo player in Olympic history, with 61 goals at five Olympics (2000–2016).[21]

Gianni De Magistris is the top scorer for the Italy men's Olympic water polo team, with 59 goals (1968–1984).[24] His compatriot Eraldo Pizzo netted 53 goals at four Olympics between 1960 and 1972.[64]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
All-time top male goalscorers with at least 50 goals at the Olympics
Rk Player Birth Height L/R Men's team Total
goals
Total
matches
played
Goals
per
match
Tournament
(goals)
Period
(age of
first/last)
Medals Ref
G S B T
1 Manuel Estiarte 1961 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right  Spain 127 45 2.822 1980
(21)
1984
(34)
1988
(27)
1992
(22)
1996
(13)
2000
(10)
20 years
(18/38)
1 1 0 2 [19]
2 Tibor Benedek 1972 1.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
Left  Hungary 65 37 1.757 1992
(22)
1996
(19)
2000
(9)
2004
(5)
2008
(10)
Does not appear 16 years
(20/36)
3 0 0 3 [28]
3 Aleksandar Šapić 1978 1.88 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right  FR Yugoslavia 64 32 2.000 1996
(8)
2000
(18)
Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear 12 years
(18/30)
0 1 2 3 [44]
 Serbia and Montenegro Does not appear Does not appear 2004
(18)
Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear
 Serbia Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear 2008
(20)
Does not appear Does not appear
4 Tony Azevedo 1981 1.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
Right  United States 61 35 1.743 2000
(13)
2004
(15)
2008
(17)
2012
(11)
2016
(5)
Does not appear 16 years
(18/34)
0 1 0 1 [21]
5 Gianni De Magistris 1950 1.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
Right  Italy 59 40 1.475 1968
(6)
1972
(11)
1976
(11)
1980
(20)
1984
(11)
Does not appear 16 years
(17/33)
0 1 0 1 [24]
6 Tamás Kásás 1976 2.00 m
(6 ft 7 in)
Right  Hungary 56 38 1.474 1996
(13)
2000
(12)
2004
(14)
2008
(8)
2012
(9)
Does not appear 16 years
(20/36)
3 0 0 3 [30]
7 Eraldo Pizzo 1938 1.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right  Italy 53 29 1.828 1960
(7)
1964
(5)
1968
(29)
1972
(12)
Does not appear Does not appear 12 years
(22/34)
1 0 0 1 [64]

Sources:

Gianni De Magistris of Italy scored 59 goals at five Olympics (1968–1984).

The following table shows the historical progression of the record of total goals scored by a male water polo player at the Summer Olympics.

Total
goals
Achievement Year Player Age Height L/R Men's team Date Duration of record Ref
32 Set record 1936 János Németh 30 1.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Hungary 15 August 1936 32 years, 72 days [65]
Tied record 1952 Ruud van Feggelen 28  Netherlands[c] 2 August 1952 [56]
43 Broke record 1968 Nico van der Voet 24 1.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
 Netherlands 26 October 1968 3 years, 314 days [43]
53 Broke record 1972 Eraldo Pizzo 34 1.87 m
(6 ft 2 in)
Right  Italy 4 September 1972 11 years, 341 days [64]
59 Broke record 1984 Gianni De Magistris 33 1.85 m
(6 ft 1 in)
Right  Italy 10 August 1984 4 years, 52 days [24]
82 Broke record 1988 Manuel Estiarte 26 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right  Spain 1 October 1988 3 years, 313 days [19]
104 Broke record 1992 Manuel Estiarte 30 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right  Spain 9 August 1992 3 years, 354 days [19]
117 Broke record 1996 Manuel Estiarte 34 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right  Spain 28 July 1996 4 years, 65 days [19]
127 Broke record 2000 Manuel Estiarte 38 1.78 m
(5 ft 10 in)
Right  Spain 1 October 2000 20 years, 53 days [19]
Total
goals
Achievement Year Player Age Height L/R Men's team Date Duration of record Ref

Top goalkeepers and sprintersEdit

Coach statisticsEdit

Ref Reference Rk Rank
Pos Playing position FP Field player GK Goalkeeper

Most successful coachesEdit

Ratko Rudić coached three men's national teams to four Olympic gold medals (Yugoslavia in 1984 and 1988, Italy in 1992 and Croatia in 2012).

The following table is pre-sorted by total number of Olympic medals (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), date of winning the last Olympic medal (in ascending order), date of winning the first Olympic medal (in ascending order), name of the coach (in ascending order), respectively.

There are four coaches who led men's national water polo teams to win three or more Olympic medals.

Ratko Rudić is the most successful water polo coach in Olympic history. As a head coach, he led three men's national water polo teams to win four Olympic gold medals and one Olympic bronze medal. He guided Yugoslavia men's national team to two consecutive gold medals in 1984 and 1988, Italy men's national team to a gold medal in 1992 and a bronze medal in 1996, and Croatia men's national team to a gold medal in 2012, making him the first and only coach to lead three different men's national water polo teams to the Olympic titles.[66][67]

Dénes Kemény of Hungary is another coach who led men's national water polo team(s) to win three Olympic gold medals. Under his leadership, the Hungary men's national team won three gold in a row between 2000 and 2008, becoming the second water polo team to have an Olympic winning streak.[68]

Dezső Gyarmati coached the Hungary men's national team to three consecutive Olympic medals, a silver in 1972, a gold in 1976, and a bronze in 1980.[69]

Boris Popov led Soviet Union men's national team to win an Olympic gold medal in 1980 and a bronze medal in 1988. Four years later, he coached the Unified Team to win another bronze medal.[70]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Head coaches who led men's national teams to win three or more Olympic medals
Rk Head coach Nationality Birth Age Men's team Tournament
(finish)
Period Medals Ref
G S B T
1 Ratko Rudić  Yugoslavia 1948 36–40  Yugoslavia 1984
(1st)
1988
(1st)
Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear 32
years
4 0 1 5 [71][66]
[67]
 Croatia 44–52  Italy Does not appear Does not appear 1992
(1st)
1996
(3rd)
2000
(5th)
Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear
56  United States Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear 2004
(7th)
Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear
60–64  Croatia Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear 2008
(6th)
2012
(1st)
Does not appear
68  Brazil Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear 2016
(8th)
2 Dénes Kemény  Hungary 1954 46–58  Hungary 2000
(1st)
2004
(1st)
2008
(1st)
2012
(5th)
Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear 12
years
3 0 0 3 [68]
3 Dezső Gyarmati  Hungary 1927 44–52  Hungary 1972
(1st)
1976
(1st)
1980
(3rd)
Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear 8
years
1 1 1 3 [23][69]
4 Boris Popov  Soviet Union 1941 39, 47  Soviet Union 1980
(1st)
Does not appear 1988
(3rd)
Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear 12
years
1 0 2 3 [72][70]
 Russia 51 International Olympic Committee Unified Team Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear 1992
(3rd)
Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear

Medals as coach and playerEdit

Terry Schroeder of the United States won two Olympic medals in 1984 and 1988, and then coached the United States men's national team to the podium in 2008.

The following table is pre-sorted by total number of Olympic medals (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), date of winning the last Olympic medal (in ascending order), date of winning the first Olympic medal (in ascending order), name of the person (in ascending order), respectively.

Ten water polo players won Olympic medals and then guided men's national water polo teams to the Olympic podium as head coaches.

Dezső Gyarmati of Hungary won five Olympic medals in a row between 1948 and 1964. He coached the Hungary men's national team to three consecutive Olympic medals: a silver (1972), a gold (1976) and a bronze (1980).[23][69]

Ivo Trumbić won the silver medal in 1964 and Yugoslavia's first Olympic gold medal in water polo, in 1968. He moved to the Netherlands in 1973, hired as the head coach of the Netherlands men's national team. At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, he led the Dutch team to win a bronze medal.[73][74]

Boris Popov, representing the Soviet Union, won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. He guided Soviet Union men's national team to two Olympic medals in 1980 and 1988, and the Unified Team to a bronze medal in 1992.[70]

Aleksandr Kabanov of the Soviet Union won a gold at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Eight years later, he won the second gold medal at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, coached by Boris Popov. As a head coach, he led Russia men's national team to win two consecutive medals in 2000 and 2004.[75][76]

Ratko Rudić won a silver medal for Yugoslavia at the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Upon retirement as an athlete, he immediately entered the coaching ranks. During his career, Rudić guided three different men's national teams to five Olympic medals, more than any other coaches.[71][66][67]

Terry Schroeder of the United States won two consecutive silver medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. Twenty years later, he coached the United States men's national team to a silver in 2008, becoming the first and only non-European to achieve this feat.[77][78][79]

Italian Alessandro Campagna won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, coached by Ratko Rudić. As a head coach, he led Italy men's national team to win two medals in 2012 and 2016.[80][81]

Dejan Savić won three consecutive Olympic medals between 2000 and 2008. At the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, he coached Serbia men's national team to win the Olympic title.[82]

Legend
  • *Host team
Rk Person Birth Height Player Head coach Total medals Ref
Age Men's team Pos Medal Age Men's team Medal G S B T
1 Dezső Gyarmati 1927 1.86 m
(6 ft 1 in)
20–36  Hungary FP 1948 , 1952 ,
1956 , 1960 ,
1964
44–52  Hungary 1972 , 1976 ,
1980
4 2 2 8 [23][69]
2 Ratko Rudić 1948 1.88 m
(6 ft 2 in)
32  Yugoslavia FP 1980 36–40  Yugoslavia 1984 , 1988 4 1 1 6 [71][66]
[67]
44–48  Italy 1992 , 1996
64  Croatia 2012
3 Aleksandr Kabanov 1948 1.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
24, 32  Soviet Union FP 1972 , 1980* 52–56  Russia 2000 , 2004 2 1 1 4 [75][76]
4 Dejan Savić 1975 1.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
25  FR Yugoslavia FP 2000 41  Serbia 2016 1 1 2 4 [82]
29  Serbia and Montenegro FP 2004
33  Serbia FP 2008
5 Boris Popov 1941 1.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
23  Soviet Union FP 1964 39, 47  Soviet Union 1980* , 1988 1 0 3 4 [72][70]
51 International Olympic Committee Unified Team 1992
6 Dezső Lemhényi 1917 30–34  Hungary FP 1948 , 1952 42  Hungary 1960 1 1 1 3 [83][84]
Ivo Trumbić 1935 1.97 m
(6 ft 6 in)
29–33  Yugoslavia FP 1964 , 1968 41  Netherlands 1976 1 1 1 3 [73][74]
Alessandro Campagna 1963 1.82 m
(6 ft 0 in)
29  Italy FP 1992 49–53  Italy 2012 , 2016 1 1 1 3 [80][81]
9 Terry Schroeder 1958 1.90 m
(6 ft 3 in)
25–29  United States FP 1984* , 1988 49  United States 2008 0 3 0 3 [77][78]
[79]
10 Gianni Lonzi 1938 1.82 m
(6 ft 0 in)
22  Italy FP 1960* 37  Italy 1976 1 1 0 2 [85][86]
Rk Person Birth Height Age Men's team Pos Medal Age Men's team Medal G S B T Ref
Player Head coach Total medals

Women's tournamentsEdit

Results summaryEdit

# Year[10] Hosts Gold medal game Bronze medal game Number of teams
Gold Score Silver Bronze Score 4th place
1 2000
Details
Australia
Sydney

Australia
4–3
United States

Russia
4–3
Netherlands
6
2 2004
Details
Greece
Athens

Italy
10–9 (aet)
Greece

United States
6–5
Australia
8
3 2008
Details
China
Beijing

Netherlands
9–8
United States

Australia
9–9 (aet)
(3–2) (ps)

Hungary
8
4 2012
Details
United Kingdom
London

United States
8–5
Spain

Australia
13–11 (aet)
Hungary
8
5 2016
Details
Brazil
Rio

United States
12–5
Italy

Russia
12–12
(7–6) (ps)

Hungary
8
6 2020
Details
Japan
Tokyo
10
# Year Hosts Gold Score Silver Bronze Score 4th place Number of teams
Gold medal game Bronze medal game

Sources:

Confederation statisticsEdit

Best performances by tournamentEdit

This is a summary of the best performances of each confederation in each tournament.[10]

Legend
  •  1st  – Champions
  •  2nd  – Runners-up
  •  3rd  – Third place
  •  4th  – Fourth place
  • Q – Qualified for forthcoming tournament
Confederation 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020
Africa – CANA Q
Americas – ASUA 2nd 3rd 2nd 1st 1st Q
Asia – AASF 6th 8th 5th 5th 7th Q
Europe – LEN 3rd 1st 1st 2nd 2nd Q
Oceania – OSA 1st 4th 3rd 3rd 6th Q
Nations 6 8 8 8 8 10

Team statisticsEdit

Participating teamsEdit

Note: Numbers refer to the final placing of each team at the respective Games.

Legend
  •  1st  – Champions
  •  2nd  – Runners-up
  •  3rd  – Third place
  •  4th  – Fourth place
  •     – Hosts
  • Q – Qualified for forthcoming tournament
Africa – CANA (1 team)
Women's team[10] 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020 Years
 South Africa Q 0
Americas – ASUA (3 teams)
Women's team[10] 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020 Years
 Brazil 8th 1
 Canada 5th 7th Q 2
 United States 2nd 3rd 2nd 1st 1st Q 5
Asia – AASF (3 teams)
Women's team[10] 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020 Years
 China 5th 5th 7th Q 3
 Japan Q 0
 Kazakhstan 6th 8th 2
Europe – LEN (7 teams)
Women's team[10] 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020 Years
 Great Britain 8th 1
 Greece 2nd 8th 2
 Hungary 6th 4th 4th 4th 4
 Italy 1st 6th 7th 2nd 4
 Netherlands 4th 1st 2
 Russia 3rd 5th 7th 6th 3rd Q 5
 Spain 2nd 5th Q 2
Oceania – OSA (1 team)
Women's team[10] 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020 Years
 Australia 1st 4th 3rd 3rd 6th Q 5
Total teams 6 8 8 8 8 10

Finishes in the top fourEdit

The following table is pre-sorted by total finishes in the top four (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), name of the team (in ascending order), respectively.

Legend
  • *Host team
Rk Women's team[10] Total Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place First Last
1  United States 5 2 (2012, 2016) 2 (2000, 2008) 1 (2004) 2000 2016
2  Australia 4 1 (2000*) 2 (2008, 2012) 1 (2004) 2000 2012
3  Hungary 3 3 (2008, 2012, 2016) 2008 2016
4  Italy 2 1 (2004) 1 (2016) 2004 2016
5  Netherlands 2 1 (2008) 1 (2000) 2000 2008
6  Russia 2 2 (2000, 2016) 2000 2016
7  Greece 1 1 (2004*) 2004 2004
 Spain 1 (2012) 2012 2012
Rk Women's team Total Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place First Last

Medal tableEdit

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), name of the team (in ascending order), respectively.

The United States is the most successful country in women's Olympic water polo tournament, with two gold, two silver and one bronze.[10]

RankWomen's teamGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 United States2215
2 Italy1102
3 Australia1023
4 Netherlands1001
5 Greece0101
 Spain0101
7 Russia0022
Totals (7 women's teams)55515

Champions (results and squads)Edit

The following table shows results of Olympic champions in women's water polo by tournament.

Legend
  •  6  – Winning 6 matches during the tournament
  •  4  – Drawing 4 matches during the tournament
  •  2  – Losing 2 matches during the tournament
  •  100.0%  – Winning all matches during the tournament
  •  team  – Olympic winning streak (winning three or more Olympic titles in a row)
  •     – Host team
Abbreviation
  • MP – Matches played
  • W – Won
  • D – Drawn
  • L – Lost
  • GF – Goals for
  • GA – Goals against
  • GD – Goals difference
  • GF/MP – Goals for per match
  • GA/MP – Goals against per match
  • GD/MP – Goals difference per match
Results of champions by tournament
# Women's tournament Champion MP W D L Win % GF GA GD GF/MP GA/MP GD/MP
1 Sydney 2000  Australia (1st title) 7 6 0 1 85.7% 46 29 17 6.571 4.143 2.429
2 Athens 2004  Italy (1st title) 6 5 0 1 83.3% 44 33 11 7.333 5.500 1.833
3 Beijing 2008  Netherlands (1st title) 6 4 0 2 66.7% 57 53 4 9.500 8.833 0.667
4 London 2012  United States (1st title) 6 5 1 0 83.3% 58 48 10 9.667 8.000 1.667
5 Rio de Janeiro 2016  United States (2nd title) 6 6 0 0 100.0% 73 32 41 12.167 5.333 6.833
# Women's tournament Total 31 26 1 4 83.9% 278 195 83 8.968 6.290 2.677
Champion MP W D L Win % GF GA GD GF/MP GA/MP GD/MP

Sources:

The following table shows women's teams that won all matches during the Olympic tournament.

Winning all matches during the tournament
# Year Champion MP W D L Win %
1 2016  United States (2nd title) 6 6 0 0 100.0%

The following tables show records of goals for per match.

Historical progression of records – goals for per match
Goals for
per match
Achievement Year Champion Date of
winning gold
Duration of record
6.571 Set record 2000  Australia (1st title) 23 September 2000 3 years, 338 days
7.333 Broke record 2004  Italy (1st title) 26 August 2004 3 years, 361 days
9.500 Broke record 2008  Netherlands (1st title) 21 August 2008 3 years, 354 days
9.667 Broke record 2012  United States (1st title) 9 August 2012 4 years, 10 days
12.167 Broke record 2016  United States (2nd title) 19 August 2016 4 years, 96 days

The following tables show records of goals against per match.

The following tables show records of goals difference per match.

The following table shows number of players and average age, height and weight of Olympic champions in women's water polo by tournament.

Legend
Winning squads by tournament
# Women's tournament Champion Players Returning Olympians Average
Number Number % Age Height Weight
1 Sydney 2000  Australia (1st title) 13 0 0.0% 26 years, 215 days 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) 71 kg (157 lb)
2 Athens 2004  Italy (1st title) 13 0 0.0% 28 years, 301 days 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) 67 kg (148 lb)
3 Beijing 2008  Netherlands (1st title) 13 2 15.4% 25 years, 248 days 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in) 70 kg (154 lb)
4 London 2012  United States (1st title) 13 8 61.5% 26 years, 96 days 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) 77 kg (170 lb)
5 Rio de Janeiro 2016  United States (2nd title) 13 4 30.8% 23 years, 200 days 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) 77 kg (170 lb)
# Women's tournament Champion Number Number % Age Height Weight
Players Returning Olympians Average

Sources:

  • Official Results Books (PDF): 2000 (pp. 96–101), 2004 (p. 73), 2008 (p. 72), 2012 (p. 369), 2016 (p. 219);
  • Olympedia: 2000–2016 (women's tournaments).

The following tables show records of the number of returning Olympians.

The following tables show records of average age.

The following tables show records of average height.

Historical progression of records – average height
Average height Achievement Year Champion Date of
winning gold
Duration of record
1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Set record 2000  Australia (1st title) 23 September 2000 11 years, 321 days
1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Broke record 2012  United States (1st title) 9 August 2012 8 years, 106 days
Tied record 2016  United States (2nd title) 19 August 2016

The following tables show records of average weight.

Historical progression of records – average weight
Average weight Achievement Year Champion Date of
winning gold
Duration of record
71 kg (157 lb) Set record 2000  Australia (1st title) 23 September 2000 11 years, 321 days
77 kg (170 lb) Broke record 2012  United States (1st title) 9 August 2012 8 years, 106 days
Tied record 2016  United States (2nd title) 19 August 2016

Player statisticsEdit

(C) Captain Apps Appearances Ref Reference Rk Rank
L/R Handedness Pos Playing position FP Field player GK Goalkeeper

Age recordsEdit

The following tables show the oldest and youngest players who competed in women's water polo at the Summer Olympics, and the oldest and youngest female Olympic medalists in water polo.

Legend
  •     – Host team

Appearance

Record Age of the
first Olympic
water polo match
Player Women's team Pos Date of birth Date of the
first Olympic
water polo match
Ref
Oldest Olympic debutante 41 years, 150 days Camila Pedrosa  Brazil FP 12 March 1975 9 August 2016 [87]
Youngest female Olympian 16 years, 104 days Paula Leitón  Spain FP 27 April 2000 9 August 2016 [88]
Record Age of the
last Olympic
water polo match
Player Women's team Pos Date of birth Date of the
last Olympic
water polo match
Ref
Oldest female Olympian 41 years, 160 days Camila Pedrosa  Brazil FP 12 March 1975 19 August 2016 [87]

Medalist

Record Age of receiving
the last Olympic
gold/silver/bronze
medal in water polo
Player Women's team Pos Date of birth Date of receiving
the last Olympic
gold/silver/bronze
medal in water polo
Ref
Oldest female Olympic gold medalist 36 years, 348 days Gillian van den Berg  Netherlands FP 8 September 1971 21 August 2008 [89]
Oldest female Olympic silver medalist 39 years, 183 days Maureen O'Toole  United States FP 24 March 1961 23 September 2000 [90]
Oldest female Olympic bronze medalist 31 years, 245 days Ekaterina Anikeeva  Russia FP 22 January 1969 23 September 2000 [91]
Record Age of receiving
the first Olympic
gold/silver/bronze
medal in water polo
Player Women's team Pos Date of birth Date of receiving
the first Olympic
gold/silver/bronze
medal in water polo
Ref
Youngest female Olympic gold medalist 17 years, 170 days Aria Fischer  United States FP 2 March 1999 19 August 2016 [92]
Youngest female Olympic silver medalist 19 years, 137 days Roser Tarragó  Spain FP 25 March 1993 9 August 2012 [93]
Youngest female Olympic bronze medalist 19 years, 22 days Maria Borisova  Russia FP 28 July 1997 19 August 2016 [94]

Multiple appearances (four-time Olympians)Edit

American water polo player Heather Petri competed at four Olympics (2000–2012).

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic appearances (in descending order), date of the last Olympic appearance (in ascending order), date of the first Olympic appearance (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively.

Four female athletes competed in water polo at four or more Olympic Games between 2000 and 2016 inclusive.

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Female athletes who competed in water polo at four or more Olympics
Apps Player Birth Height Women's team Pos Water polo tournament Period
(age of
first/last)
Medals Ref
G S B T
4 Heather Petri 1978 1.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 United States FP 2000 2004 2008 2012 12 years
(22/34)
1 2 1 4 [95]
Sofia Konukh 1980 1.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
 Russia FP 2000 2004 2008 2012 12 years
(20/32)
0 0 1 1 [96]
Brenda Villa 1980 1.63 m
(5 ft 4 in)
 United States FP 2000 2004 2008 2012 12 years
(20/32)
1 2 1 4 [97]
Tania Di Mario 1979 1.68 m
(5 ft 6 in)
 Italy FP 2004 2008 2012 2016 12 years
(25/37)
1 1 0 2 [98]

Multiple medalistsEdit

Brenda Villa of the United States won four Olympic medals in water polo between 2000 and 2012.

The following table is pre-sorted by total number of Olympic medals (in descending order), number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), date of receiving the last Olympic medal (in ascending order), date of receiving the first Olympic medal (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively.

Three female athletes won three or more Olympic medals in water polo. Heather Petri and Brenda Villa, both representing the United States, are the only two female athletes to win four Olympic medals in water polo.[95][97]

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Female athletes who won three or more Olympic medals in water polo
Rk Player Birth Height Women's team Pos Water polo tournament Period
(age of
first/last)
Medals Ref
G S B T
1 Heather Petri 1978 1.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 United States FP 2000 2004 2008 2012 12 years
(22/34)
1 2 1 4 [95]
Brenda Villa 1980 1.63 m
(5 ft 4 in)
 United States FP 2000 2004 2008 2012 12 years
(20/32)
1 2 1 4 [97]
3 Kami Craig 1987 1.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 United States FP 2008 2012 2016 Does not appear 8 years
(21/29)
2 1 0 3 [99]

Multiple gold medalistsEdit

The following table is pre-sorted by number of Olympic gold medals (in descending order), number of Olympic silver medals (in descending order), number of Olympic bronze medals (in descending order), date of receiving the last Olympic gold medal (in ascending order), date of receiving the first Olympic gold medal (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively.

Four female athletes won two or more Olympic gold medals in water polo. They were all members of the United States women's national water polo team that won two consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016.

Legend
  •     – Hosts
Female athletes who won two or more Olympic gold medals in water polo
Rk Player Birth Height Women's team Pos Water polo tournament Period
(age of
first/last)
Medals Ref
G S B T
1 Kami Craig 1987 1.81 m
(5 ft 11 in)
 United States FP 2008 2012 2016 8 years
(21/29)
2 1 0 3 [99]
2 Courtney Mathewson 1986 1.71 m
(5 ft 7 in)
 United States FP 2012 2016 Does not appear 4 years
(25/29)
2 0 0 2 [100]
Melissa Seidemann 1990 1.83 m
(6 ft 0 in)
 United States FP 2012 2016 Does not appear 4 years
(22/26)
2 0 0 2 [101]
Maggie Steffens 1993 1.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
 United States FP 2012 2016 Does not appear 4 years
(19/23)
2 0 0 2 [102]

Top goalscorers by tournamentEdit

Daniëlle de Bruijn of the Netherlands scored 11 and 17 goals at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics, respectively.

The following table is pre-sorted by edition of the Olympics (in ascending order), number of matches played (in ascending order), name of the player (in ascending order), respectively.

Maggie Steffens of the United States holds the record for the most goals scored by a female water polo player in a single Olympic tournament, scoring 21 goals in the 2012 edition. She was also the top goalscorer at the 2016 Olympics, with 17 goals.[102]

Dutch left-hander Daniëlle de Bruijn was the joint top goalscorer at the 2000 Olympics, with 11 goals. Eight years later she netted 17 goals, including seven goals in the gold medal match, becoming the top goalscorer at the 2008 Olympics, and helping the Dutch team win the Olympics.[103]

Legend
  •     – Host team
Top female goalscorers by tournament
Year Player Birth Age Height L/R Goals Matches
played
Goals
per
match
Women's team Finish Ref
2000 Daniëlle de Bruijn 1978 22 1.72 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Left 11 7 1.571  Netherlands 4th of 6
teams
[103]
Bridgette Gusterson (C) 1973 27 1.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
Right 7 1.571  Australia 1st of 6
teams
[104]
Sofia Konukh 1980 20 1.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Right 7 1.571  Russia 3rd of 6
teams
[96]
2004 Tania Di Mario 1979 25 1.68 m
(5 ft 6 in)
Right 14 6 2.333  Italy 1st of 8
teams
[98]
2008 Daniëlle de Bruijn 1978 30 1.72 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Left 17 6 2.833  Netherlands 1st of 8
teams
[103]
2012 Maggie Steffens 1993 19 1.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Right 21 6 3.500  United States 1st of 8
teams
[102]
2016 Maggie Steffens (C) 1993 23 1.73 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Right 17 6 2.833  United States 1st of 8
teams
[102]

Source:

The following table shows the historical progression of the record of goals scored by a female water polo player in a single Olympic tournament.

Goals Achievement Year Player Age Height L/R Women's team Date Duration of record Ref
11 Set record 2000 Daniëlle de Bruijn 22 1.72 m
(5 ft 8 in)
Left  Netherlands 23 September 2000 3 years, 338 days [103]
Bridgette Gusterson 27 1.80 m
(5 ft 11 in)
Right  Australia [104]
Sofia Konukh