WINNING SMILES: Tauranga water polo's successful men's under-18 team. PHOTO/SUPPLIED 050816sp22BOP
The 2016 Pan Pacific Water Polo Festival was a hugely successful campaign for the 100-plus Tauranga water polo representatives who during the two-week period played in over 80 games, scored over 700 goals, and gained two bronze medals.
The medals were won by the Under-14 A girls who beat NSW 3-2 and the Under-18 men who also defeated their Australian opponents Australia 2000 by 15-7.
The Under-16A girls' team and the Under-18 WaiBop women's team (which had four Tauranga representatives) also came close to bringing home a medal but unfortunately in the bronze finals they were pipped at the post by their international competitors from NSW Blues and Australia Green.
All the Tauranga teams got to match up against some of the best teams from all around New Zealand and international sides from Australia, America and South Africa.
The competitive spirit inside the pool was clear and with only eight weeks until the Under-16 and Under-14 National Championships begin, the eight Tauranga teams participating in that event are in good shape to claim some national success.
Final Pan Pacific rankings for all Tauranga teams:
Girls Under-14A 3rd, Under-14B 13th, Under-16A 4th, Under-16B 23rd, Waibop Under-18 4th. Boys Under-14A 6th, Under-14B 12th, Under-16A 9th, Under-16B 13th, Under-18 3rd, Under-20 10th.