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Ukraine, Belarus and Slovakia win the three qualifying tournaments for Barcelona 2018

Ukraine and Belarus in the men’s category and Slovakia in the women’s have claimed the triumph in the qualifying tournaments for the 33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018, which have been held this weekend in Ukraine, Poland and Portugal. Ukraine dominated the Rio Maior (Portugal) group and Belarus claimed the Gorzow (Poland) tournament, both undefeated in the three matches played.

The Ukrainian national team defeated Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Portugal. The title was decided in the match between Ukraine and Portugal, won by the former with a narrow 11-10 victory. Belarus had a stronger lead in the Gorzow group, with victories over Switzerland (14-5), Israel (9-4) and Poland (9-5).

Following the tournament format, no team was eliminated and the eight squads have a chance to qualify for the big final, which will take place at the Bernat Picornell Pool in July. The eight teams will now be sorted according to their results and will have to face the teams classified 9 to 16 in the latest European Championships, held in Belgrade in January 2016.

In the women’s category, Slovakia claimed the triumph after finishing with a total of 16 points, tied with the Czech Republic but with a goal-difference superiority. The match between the two leading teams, played this morning in Kiev, finished in a tie (10).  

Malta finished bottom of the table and was therefore eliminated. The other six teams will go through to the next round, where they will have to face the squads classified 7 to 12 in Belgrade in two legged-ties.