World Aquatics Masters Championships report
World Aquatics Masters Championships report - written by Russell McKinnon (former NZ player, coach, manager, and referee)
Kiwis are not forgotten when it comes to the World Aquatics Masters Championships being staged in Kyushu Japan.The water polo competition, featuring 30 men's and five women's teams, is staged in Kumamoto, just a 40-minute bullet train ride from Fukuoka where the recent World Aquatics Water Polo Championships were held.
Four people with Kiwi connections are heavily involved.Terry Mulligan, playing for the Perth Cockatoos in the 70+ division alongside Aucklander and former NZ Men's captain, NZWP Life Member, Ian Gunthorp.
While Terry hailed from Christchurch's Wharenui club and played in Canterbury Under 18 teams, he now resides in Perth, Western Australia and has won two world championships; over 70 (in the 2017 & 2019 Cockatoos with Ian Gunthorp).
Also residing in Perth for over a decade is 2004 Olympic referee, former New Zealand representative, and NZWP Life Member, Liz Burman, who refereed six Junior Women's World Championships.
The fourth member of the quartet is Russell McKinnon, a former national player, coach, manager, and referee who has resided in Western Australia for 33 years. For the past quarter century has been involved with World Aquatics as its water polo correspondent.
Both Burman and McKinnon are part of the four-member international panel of referees officiating in Kumamoto.
The 70+ team for which Terry and Ian are now playing have had 4 wins and a loss so far:
13-1 vs Blue Thunder (USA) 70+
7-4 vs KVP Piešťany (Slovakia)
15-3 vs Blue Thunder (USA) 75+
7-10 vs San Diego Athletic Club
Semi Final: 9-8 vs KVP Piešťany (Slovakia)
Gold Final: vs San Diego Athletic Club
Congratulations to the team for their success so far, and good luck for your GOLD medal match vs San Diego Athletic Club today!
Thanks for the update Russell! And thank you to Ian McKinnon (NZWP Life Member) for keeping us updated!
"Ironically, the opening match of the tournament was played between the Perth Cockatoos and USA Blue Thunder in a rematch of the 2019 gold-medal final in Gwangju, Korea. The Cockatoos, with a full bench of 15, played the depleted Thunder team, winning 13-1."
Photo credit: Russell McKinnon & Ian Gunthorp