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SYDNEY 2000 / SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES | SPORT BY SPORT
/ MEN'S WATER POLO

Russia Earns Berth in Gold Medal Game

September 30, 2000|Times wire services

A day after dousing the Americans' medal hopes, Russia earned a thrilling 8-7 sudden-death semifinal victory over Spain.

The Russians, who last won water polo gold as the Soviet Union in 1980, will meet Hungary or Yugoslavia in Sunday's final.

Italian Coach Ratko Rudic won't get his wish after FINA rejected his appeal to replay his team's 8-5 quarterfinal loss to Hungary.

Rudic appealed to FINA shortly after the match on technical grounds, arguing that the referees allowed the wrong Hungarian into the penalty box. Instead of a penalty shot because of a foul by Peter Biros, Rudic said the Hungarians were successfully able to kill off Italy's extra-man attack.

"The rule is very clear," said Rudic, who has won gold medals with Yugoslavia in 1984 and 1988, and with Italy in 1992.

But a committee recommended rejecting the petition and the FINA board agreed. FINA plans to meet today to determine possible fines against Rudic and several players who caused minor damage to the pooldeck at the Ryde Aquatic Leisure Center, said spokesman Russell McKinnon.

Rudic accused referees of conspiring against Italy as Hungary moved on to the medal round. The box score listed 17 penalties for Italy and 14 for Hungary.

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