Serbia has been winning medals at Olympics in the Water Polo tournaments for years now, so winning is not new to them. But winning a gold is a first and that too, against the arch-rivals Croatia, made their victory all the more special.
Serbia beat Croatia with an impressive score of 11-7. The match wasn’t an easy one, both the teams gave their full as evident in the bruises as they walked out of the pool and through the hallway of the Olympic Aquatic Stadium.
For Serbia, Dusan Mandic hit four strikes and Filip Filipovic scored twice. Bratislava Mitrovic, Serbia’s goalkeeper, too, did an amazing job at dodging scores and blocking strikes made by Croatia. Filipvoc, the 29-year-old, has been a part of the Serbian team for the last three Olympics. He also won the title of the most valuable player in the tournament.
After their victory, Filipvoc conveyed that their team is probably the best water polo team ever. “Let’s say we want this from the whole beginning of our careers. We trained so hard, and so much we suffered” he told the reporters.
The coach of the winning team, Dejan Savic, pointed out that the team was in immense pressure because people back home demanded gold, “We have won everything else, now we want this.” he said.
Croatia and Serbia were once part of Yugoslavia, and both the countries declared war on each other in the 1990s after the partition of Yugoslavia. The situations worsened, sue to mass genocide. When asked about their rivalry with the Croatians, Gojko Pijetlovic from the Serbian team answered “We don’t have any enemies when we play against them,” he also added “We don’t hate anybody. We just play water polo. We play everyone the same.” Pijetlovic finally ended his statement by saying “It’s our national spirit. We don’t like to lose”.