HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah Olympic Swimming Pools Complex will be the venue of the opening ceremony of FINA world men’s junior water polo championship, Kuwait 2019 under the patronage of House Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim.
Kuwait water polo team will start its competition with a strong match with its Irani counterpart at 2:20 pm today as part of the third group, of which Italy and USA will meet at 6 pm. Kuwait’s team is hoping to start with a win in what is considered to be a strong group that includes Italy which was champion in (1993, 1999, and 2013) and shares the record with Spain and Montenegro which won the championship when it was part of Serbia in 2003 and 2005.
Competition will start with a match between South Africa and Croatia at 9 am, followed by Japan against China at 10:20 am, from the first group, Serbia (champions in 2011 and 2015) and Croatia (champions in 1997 and 2009) seem to be more likely to qualify from this group.
Spain will play Hungary at 7:20 pm, and Egypt against Canada at 1:00 pm from the second group.
Spain, champion in (1983, 1987, 1991) and Hungary, champion in (1995 and 2007) are likely to advance to the next round, and their meeting today is considered the top match in the first round. Both of them will have tough competition from Canada and Russia which was champion in 1981 and 1985.
Greece will start the defence of its title against Australia at 3:40 pm while Uzbekistan will play New Zealand at 11:40 am in group four.
Greece won the 19th championship which was held in Serbia two years ago, which Croatia was second and Serbia third.
Director General of Public Authority for Sport Dr Humoud Fulaiteh said Kuwait’s hosting of the championship is within the efforts of making Kuwait a world center for hosting the strongest world sport competitions in the future, and is considered the start of a rise for water games in Kuwait.
Fulaiteh commanded the efforts of Kuwait Swimming Federation to organize a competition at the highest level in a newly constructed facility.
He said he is confident that competition will be of high standard as the best national teams of the world are participating and wished Kuwait’s team the best of luck.
Dr Fulaiteh welcomed participants in Kuwait and pointed to the comments of the senior officials of FINA as they lauded Kuwait’s preparations, and the outstanding facility that hosts the competition.
By Abdellatif Sharaa