Silver lining for Gofers and Buckling

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Sydney University’s Australian Stingers representatives Keesja Gofers and Hannah Buckling came home with silver medals from the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final played in Shanghai last week.

The Stingers almost pulled off one of the sport’s great comebacks when they lost 8-7 to the USA, the defending World League, World Cup and Olympic champions, in a gripping gold medal match on Sunday.

They trailed 6-2 after the opening quarter, clawed their way back to 7-5 at the main break, played a scoreless third quarter and scored two goals to one in the final quarter as the USA held on to take gold.

Gofers scored one of Australia’s goals in the final, having figured prominently on the scoresheet throughout the tournament as the Stingers defeated Russian 8-4, China 11-5 and Italy 8-7 in the knockout matches. They then accounted for Brazil 17-8 in the quarter-final, and host nation China 5-3 in the semi-final.

The Stingers returned home yesterday and will spend two weeks on home soil before heading to Hungary and Montenegro for training in preparation for the FINA World Championships in Kazan where they are set to play their opening group stage game against Greece on July 26.