Everything you need to know about Olympic Water Polo at Tokyo 2020

Andro Buslje of Croatia in action during the FINA Men's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament Bronze medal match against ROC (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Andro Buslje of Croatia in action during the FINA Men's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament Bronze medal match against ROC (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Your one-stop guide to water polo at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, including top athletes, venue information, schedule and more!

The ultra-physical sport of water polo will continue its long Olympic history at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Can anyone stop the dominant USA women’s team from winning a third-consecutive Olympic title?

Below, we take a look at the players expected to light up the Tokyo Stadium in 2021, the competition schedule, and more in our guide to everything to know about Olympic Water Polo guide.

One Minute, One Sport | Water Polo
01:24

"One Minute, One Sport" will show you the rules and highlights of Water Polo in one minute

Top Olympic Water Polo players at Tokyo 2020

When it comes to women’s water polo, it’s difficult to look past the USA, and their captain Maggie Steffens.

The 27-year-old is already a two-time Olympic champion, a three-time world champion, and she revealed the secret to her team’s success.

Another huge part of the United States women’s success is their brick-wall goalkeeper, and arguably the world’s best player right now, Ashleigh Johnson.

Also keep an eye out for Australia's talisman Hannah Buckling, who helped Olympiacos to the Euro League final in 2019.

Maggie Steffens: "We are a group of badass women that never give up"
02:43

The captain of the USA women's water polo team explains what it takes to win two Olympic gold medals and three world titles. "It's no secret sauce. It's no magic recipe. We have a group of women that are badass, that don't give up, never give up," the 26-year-old told the Olympic Channel, as arguably the greatest ever player for her nation also revealed what it's like to be a role model, and the secrets of her "super power" relationship with sister Jessica.

On the men’s side big things are expected of Francesco Di Fulvio, who’s 10 goals led Italy to their first world title in eight years in 2019.

Injury meant Hungary’s Denes Varga couldn’t play to his potential at the World Champions, but the Beijing 2008 gold medallist’s MVP performance in Champions League Final Six shows that he is still one of the world’s best.

Croatian captain fantastic Maro Jokovic has won everything the sport has to offer, but his unbelievable goal-scoring record in the last full season for club and country show that he hasn’t lost any of his appetite for top honours.

Olympic Water Polo schedule at Tokyo 2020

The competition will take place from 24 July - 8 August 2021.

Check here for the complete schedule and all times are Japan Standard Time (GMT/UTC+9).

Olympic Water Polo competition format at Tokyo 2020

Ten teams will take part in the women’s competition, which is two more than competed at Rio 2016.

Women's group draw:

Group A

Australia (AUS)

South Africa (RSA)

Netherlands (NED)

Spain (ESP)

Canada (CAN)

Group B

ROC team (ROC)

China (CHN)

Hungary (HUN)

United States (USA)

Japan (JPN)

Twelve teams will lock horns in the men’s competition.

Men's group draw:

Group A

South Africa (RSA)

United States (USA)

Hungary (HUN)

Greece (GRE)

Japan (JPN)

Italy (ITA)

Group B

Australia (AUS)

Croatia (CRO)

Serbia (SRB)

Spain (ESP)

Kazakhstan (KAZ)

Montenegro (MNE)

Both tournaments will see the top four finishers per group going through to the quarter-finals, followed by semis and a final.

Knockout games that end in ties will be decided by shootouts, as overtime has been abolished since 2013.

Olympic Water Polo venue at Tokyo 2020

Water polo will take place in Tokyo Bay’s spectacular Tatsumi Water Polo Centre.

The domed, 4,700-capacity arena was designed in 1990 and serves as the main facility for swimming and pool-based sports in Tokyo.

Check the venue details here.

By the Olympic Channel.