Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Barcelona Baby

The Aussie Stingers have finally made their way to Barcelona. After a quick week of games and training in Bilbao, northern Spain, we were finally given a rest day after going nonstop for 15 days. Dining this time we visited the Guggenheim Museum, had some fantastic tapas in the 'old town', plus of course some shopping.

However this short respite did not last long, as soon enough we were back in the pool completing some last minute fitness work before heading into World Champs. Finally we were on our way to Barcelona. Or draw saw us up against New Zealand, China and South Africa in the preliminary rounds. Having played both New Zealand and China in our rounds at World League we had a fair idea of what we were up against. However that did not stop the nerves from creeping in every now and then.

The forth day of World Champs is coming to a close and we are two games in. Our first game vs New Zealand, saw us look a little rusty at first but we were able to keep our heads and come away with a solid win, 15-4. With our first game done and dusted we started our preparation on our net opponent, China. We new this one was going to be a tough one, as it would essentially decide who would top our group and there for have a better cross over to get into the top 8. 

After a rough start we were down at the first break. However we picked ourselves up and were able to pull away in the second half, with a 10-0 score line. The final score was 14-5. A great effort from all the girls, so proud of everyone. This  victory will only be short lived, as we are straight back into preparation for our next game, South Africa.

A huge thanks to all of our supporters over here in Barcelona, back in Oz and around the world. 

For game reports and info please visit the Water Polo Australia Website

Or follow them on twitter (@WaterpoloAus) or Facebook (Water Polo Australia) 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

First leg: Hungary

Our journey to the World Championships in Barcelona began on the first of July, as all interstate players made their way to Sydney for a short but intense camp. After some hard training we departed Australia for Hungary on the fourth and after numerous flights and many hours we arrived at our destination without any bags in the early hours of the morning. We awoke the next morning to sunshine and clear skies and off we went to the pool. Luckily for us the pool was a short walk from our rooms. We made do with what gear we had, although there were some burnt shoulders from lack of sunscreen and us still carrying our winter coats.

Our luggage finally arrived that afternoon and we could start settling in to our training routine. Hard sessions and some tough work was ahead in this first leg of our tour. Good food and the great location made all the hard work easier and the numerous hours of training became a thing of the past and we started to really cement some of the ground work in our preparation for the big games to come. Although the test game was a disappointing loss, there were some positives to be drawn from it. Things may not have come together yet, however the steps we are taking will see us gaining more and more momentum each day.

It's been highly entertaining getting to know some of the new girls a little better. There have been some interesting quirks popping up here or there and some entertaining conversations. With the sun at our backs we left Hungary behind and ventured off to Spain. Situated on the northern side of Spain, Bilbao is where we will set up camp for the next week with some test matches against Spanish and Italians. Our mens contingent (the Aussie Sharks) have also arrived here for some matches. It will be great to both play and watch some good games before we finally journey south to Barcelona for the main event.

Buenas noches