Russia win Olympic bronze in women's water polo

August 20, 2016
Members of the Russia women's water polo team celebrate after defeating Hungary to win their women's water polo bronze medal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yesterday. (AP Photo)


Russia is bringing home its first Olympic women's water polo medal since 2000. And it comes with quite the story.

Anastasia Simanovich scored a tying power-play goal with one second left in regulation and Anna Karnaukh denied Hungary's Hanna Kisteleki in the seventh round of penalty shots, giving Russia a wild 19-18 win in the bronze-medal match at the Rio de Janeiro Games yesterday.

Winning a medal "means everything to me," Simanovich said through a translator. "I was striving to be a member of this team. I was dreaming about coming here to the Games, so it's everything for me."

Rita Keszthelyi gave Hungary a 12-11 lead with a penalty shot with 1:11 left in regulation. Hungary called timeout with 32 seconds left, and Russia coach Aleksandr Gaidukov delivered a simple message to his team before it headed back into play.




"I said, 'Believe in yourself. Everything is in your hands, and you have to do it,'" Gaidukov said.

Nadezhda Glyzina found Simanovich for the tying score. The first 13 players connected in the tiebreaker before Karnaukh stopped Kisteleki, touching off a wild celebration on the Russia bench.

Barbara Bujka had three goals for Hungary, which lost 14-10 to the United States in the semifinals. Dora Antal, Anna Illes and Keszthelyi each scored two goals.

Russia lost 12-9 to Italy in the semi-finals.

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