OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: ‘We’ve come a long way’ insists water polo coach
GREAT Britain women’s water polo coach Szilveszter Fekete believes his side have come a long way, despite their disappointing London 2012 continuing with their fifth consecutive defeat.
KEEPING UPBEAT: Great Britain's water polo team are yet to register a win but look ahead to their tie against Italy
Having lost their three group games and a quarter-final tie against Spain, Team GB faced a fifth to eighth classification game against Russia but fell to a narrow 11-9 defeat.
And former Hungary player Fekete insists that London 2012 is another part of a steep learning curve for his young and inexperienced team.
"In 2007 we lost our first international match to the Netherlands 21-1,” said Fekete, whose side also fell to a narrow group stage defeat against the Russians in their first ever Olympic game.
“We have come a long way since then, especially when you see we have played a close match with a strong opponent such as Russia.”
Hat-tricks from Chloe Wilcox and Frankie Snell gave the raucous home crowd plenty to cheer, but the Brits could not maintain a half-time lead.
An early goal from Angie Winstanley-Smith opened the scoring before both sides exchanged goals, including efforts from Snell and Wilcox, as the first quarter ended at 3-3.
Further goals from the impressive duo saw Team GB take a 5-4 lead into the half-time break at the Water Polo Arena.
But the more experienced Russians took control of the game in the second-half as they hit four goals in the penultimate quarter to take the lead for the first time.
And a sole Wilcox goal in the final quarter was all Team GB could manage as the Russians saw out the game.
Team GB now face Italy on Thursday to determine whether they finish seventh or eighth and goalkeeper Rosie Morris is eyeing a victory to round off their debut Games.
She said: “People forget that these teams are so much more experienced. I don't know mentally if we have got it yet.
“Our aim (at the start of the tournament) was to win a game or two. We've shown that we're not just a wildcard, we're up there with the top teams, and if we play well we can win.”
© Sportsbeat 2012