- What: The 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships
- Who: The top four favorite teams to take home the Men’s Water Polo title
- Where: The host city will be Fukuoka, Japan
- When: The World Aquatics Championships will take place from May 13-29, 2022
Regarded as perhaps the most important water polo tournament outside of the Olympics, the 2022 World Aquatics Championships will showcase the best the world of water polo has to offer. Set to kick off in May of this year, the water polo portion of the Championships is set to feature teams from all over the world vying for the men’s championship title. Originally scheduled to be held in 2021, the championships were pushed back to 2022 to not conflict with the Olympics. In the 2019 edition of the men’s water polo championship, Italy defeated Spain in the final to win their fourth title.
|Odds to Win Men's Water Polo Title at 2022 World Aquatic Championships|
The Number One Contender: Greece (Odds: TBA)
The Greeks have a strong tradition of success at not only the World Championships (with titles in 2005 and 2015), but on the international level as a whole. Currently ranked as the No. 1 team in the FINA Men’s Water Polo World Rankings, Greece is coming off a silver medal finish at the 2020 Olympics Games. The Greeks have had a solid run since their disappointing 10th place finish at the 2020 Men’s European Water Polo Championships. In addition to their silver medal finish in Tokyo, they also were able to lock down a bronze medal as a team at the 2020 Men’s World League tournament as well. A consistent performer, Greece is always a team to keep an eye on.
Number Two: Montenegro (TBA)
Ranked as the second best team in the world, according to the FINA rankings, Montenegro will be gunning for their first world championship in 2022. Montenegro has had arguably their best run of major tournaments yet, with gold medal finishes at the 2020 World League tournament and in the 2020 Olympics Qualification Tournament. What has hurt Montenegro perhaps the most in the world rankings, was their dismal finish at the Olympic Games where they finished in 8th place. Could this be their big bounce-back tournament?
Number three: Italy (TBA)
One of the most successful men’s water polo teams in the world, Italy has a strong track record of championship success. The 2019 World Champions, Italy has won seven World Championships, eight Olympics Games, five World Cups, and 11 European Championships. Currently, they are ranked as the eighth best squad in the World Rankings and were able to lock down a silver medal at the 2020 World League tournament. With the looming possibility of a back-to-back World Championship opportunity on the horizon, Italy has a shot to make history by defending their world title.
Dark horse contender: United States (TBA)
Our final spotlight contender, the United States will not only be vying for their first World Championship, but their first medal at the games period. America is the only non-European squad to win medals in the men’s Olympic water polo tournament, most recently during the 2008 Summer Olympics, where they notched a silver medal finish. Currently seventh-best team in the world according to the FINA World Rankings, the U.S. has their work cut out for them in 2022. However, Team U.S.A. is coming off a silver medal finish at the 2020 World League tournament so they are riding a nice spurt of momentum heading into 2022.
Prediction: Look for history to be made in 2022, with Montenegro locking down their first-ever World Championship. Montenegro has showcased a lot of championship ability as of late and the squad is hungry to take home their first-ever world title.
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