Romania, big match with Italy at the Polo World Cup. Next comes the battle for a place at the Olympic Games

Romania does not have any team qualified for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024. The national polo team could be our only representative in team sports, if it passes on Sunday in the most likely direct match against Montenegro.

Romania confidently awaits the meeting with Montenegro. Facebook photo

The “Tricolors” finished the World Polo Championship group in 3rd place, after Hungary and Italy, but ahead of Kazakhstan, which they crushed with 25-3. Today, Romania lost to the peninsulars, score 10-16 (3-4, 4-4, 2-5,1-3), after holding off their opponents for two halves. The experience of the Italians came into play in the second half of the game, but overall it was a great game by our boys.

The failure was predictable, in the context in which Romania relies on 1,500 legitimate players, while Italy has 1,500 pools, but the fact that the “tricolors” fought for half a match, from equal to equal with squadra azzurra is admirable.

Vlad Georgescu 3, Matei Lutescu 2, Tudor Fulea 2, Andrei Prioteasa 1, Silvian Colodrovschi 1, Andrei Neamțu 1 scored for Romania, which will most likely meet Montenegro in the “optimum” of the competition (the former Yugoslavs will occupy 2nd place in group C if Serbia, the Olympic champion, passes the USA today), on Sunday, for access to the quarter-finals at the Polo World Cup in Doha (Qatar). The match has high stakes, with the winning team going to the Olympics.

There are 4 places left for Paris 2024

The Romanian team qualified for the WC in Doha thanks to reaching the quarter-finals stage at the European Championship last month, which they finished in 8th place. And the World Polo Championship offers four places to the Olympic Games in Paris, for which they are already qualified France, Hungary, Greece, Japan, USA, South Africa, Spain and Australia. Thus, Romania has a good chance to fight for a return to the Olympic Games after 12 years.

After 8-15 with Hungary, 25-3 with Kazakhstan and 10-16 with Italy, Romania ranked third in the group, with 3 points, ahead of Hungary, 8 points, Italy, 7 points, but ahead of Kazakhstan, which did not accumulate any points. The winners of the groups qualified directly for the quarter-finals, the teams in the second and third positions play a play-off for the “quarters”, while the last ranked teams play for the 13th-16th places.