Kazakhstan underlined their superiority in the men’s water polo tournament at the 5th Asian Beach Games by easing past Hong Kong 19-3 on the last day of the six-team round-robin on Saturday.
The Central Asian powerhouse led 10-3 at half-time in the four-a-side format before adding a further nine goals without reply in the second period to complete a grand slam.
Rustam Ukumanov led the rout with a 72 per cent shot conversion of eight goals from 11 attempts. Kazakhstan’s coach, Alexandr Shvedov, said the tournament was part of his team’s preparations for major challenges ahead. “This is an interesting game. I like this format,” he said.
“We have three old players and four young players in our squad and I can take all the elements from our games here for the future. “After this we will play in the Russian Championship and in November the Asian Championships in Tokyo. “It has been a good experience for my players. For the next Asian Beach Games I will bring only young players.”
His captain, Yevgeniy Medvedev, added: “This is really a very, very good competition for us and for all Asia. “We have won all the games but the opponents have been difficult. It has been about the team – only the team and not about the individual players.”
Kazakhstan’s seven-strong squad was: Valeriy Shlemov, Rustam Ukumanov, Maxim Zhardan, Altay Altayev, Miras Aubakirov, Yevgeniy Medvedev and Roman Pilipenko. Kazakhstan began the competition by beating Thailand 16-2 and followed up with victories over China (13-2), Afghanistan (14-2), Indonesia (15-5) and finally Hong Kong 19-3.
Indonesia won the silver medal and China the bronze. The water polo gold was Kazakhstan’s third at Danang 2016, following the men’s 5km and 10km marathon swimming double by Vitaliy Khudyakov.