Centenary of Serbian Water Polo
The competitive water polo started in Serbia in 1921 when the first national championship took place, won by Sombor Water Polo Club. Shortly after, in 1927, our national selection appeared for the first time at the European Championships in Magdeburg, and the first in a row of medals was won in Vienna at the 1950 European Championships. Our water polo players stood at the victory podium for 48 times since, winning 94 medals in total at the Olympic, world and European competitions! Since 2006, our water polo players have been five-time European champions, two-time world champions, two-time Olympic champions, with two golds at the World Cup, Mediterranean and University games, as well as eleven gold medals at the World League competition.
An indelible trace in our water polo was left by famous players: Sandić, Janković, Muškatirović, Krivokapić, Milanović, Šoštar, Andrić, Vujasinović, Šapić, Šefik, Udovičić, Jelenić, Filipović, Prlainović, Pijetlović, Mandić, and many others; by sports officials such as Lambaša, Radan, and by experts Vuksanović, Čukvas, Orlić, Sajfert and the world’s most trophy-winning selector Ratko Rudić, who launched his coaching career with the Yugoslav representation.
Stamenić, Manojlović, Porobić, Udovičić and the present selector of the national team Savić, with whom the victory podiums were by rights reserved for the Serbian water polo players, continued the victorious path. Emulating the men water polo success, the women water polo started to develop three decades ago, with the ambition to achieve top results in the near future.
The successful leaders of the Serbian Water Polo Federation are an indivisible part of our golden water polo century, before all Sovrović, Krivokapić and Jelenić provided supreme support to our teams with their leadership and organisational skills. Let us not forget the great successes of the club water polo at the European scene: Partizan, Red Star, Bečej and Radnički from Kragujevac. In the 21st century, the most trophy-winning sports team continues the tradition of top results. The Tašmajdan swimming pool, the host of the biggest sporting events, is considered the temple of world water polo. At the European Championship in 2016 in Belgrade Arena, one of the best organised competitions in the history of water polo, the final match between Serbia and Montenegro, was viewed by record 19,000 spectators! Although today Serbia needs more Olympic-size swimming pools, it would not prevent Serbian water polo players from starting big competitions in the future with the greatest ambitions. In the jubilee year, water polo players once again gave their people the most beautiful gift - the fifth Olympic gold!
Expert assistance: Serbian Water Polo Federation (SWPF)
Artistic realization of the issue: MA Anamari Banjac, academic painter