Bea Ortiz: “The level of water polo here is incredible”
One of the biggest revelations if the Spanish women’s water polo team started her career as a gymnast, but thanks to her brother’s interest for water polo, this sport welcomed a new skilled and enthusiastic athlete such as Bea Ortiz, who decided to trade the gym for the pool. Last year she was named MVP of the Spanish League and this summer she became one of the key players of the national team at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.
The season ahead of the 33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018 could not have started better for the player from Rubí, who signed with Astrapool CN Sabadell. “We have made a great start to the season – she underlines – as we have been able to clinch two triumphs, in the Catalan Cup and the Spanish Supercup. We look forward to keeping up with this level and we will fight to win it all.”
An audiovisual communication student, Ortiz has two new challenged this season, one with her club, that dreams of reaching the Final Four once again (Sabadell finished third last year), and another with the national team, to take home gold in Barcelona 2018.
“We were a little bit down after Budapest, since we were so close to claiming the title. But we have to move on. The European Championships are going to be even more challenging since we are playing in front of a home crowd, so we obviously can’t fail”, she explains. Ortiz, the fourth leading goalscorer of the Spanish League last season (58 goals), is not intimidated by the fact the Spaniards are the favorites in this competition after their wonderful summer: “We may be the favorites if we take into account the results of the World Aquatics Championships, but there are many great teams who have proven to be at the same level as us. It will definitely be a tough competition. There are many other teams capable to take home the title, considering the great level of European water polo.”
The wound suffered in Budapest after losing to the United States in the final is still fresh and Bea values her silver medal: “It’s true that we lost the key match, but the United States is the best team in the world. I think we played a great tournament, especially after the last-minute absences we had to face. We are very satisfied with our performance and are extremely proud of what we have accomplished.”
The Astrapool CN Sabadell player agrees with the statement that we are experiencing “the golden age of Spanish women’s water polo” and adds that “the level right now is just incredible and I’m positive the younger generations will protect the legacy.”
Although at 22 she still doesn’t consider herself a star, Bea is very grateful for everything she learns from her teammates and the progress she’s been able to make with the coaches she’s worked with. She always thinks in plural, as part of a team, which makes her one of the most valued players both in her club and in the national team.
She also has in mind the World League and the new international competition, the Europa Cup, a prelude for Barcelona 2018. “I’m very excited about playing at the Picornell – she insists – I think the atmosphere is going to be marvelous, like in 2013, and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to relive this experience.”