If you regard water polo as a quaint, gentlemanly sport, then it might be time to reassess that opinion.
During Monday’s clash between Hungary and Australia at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center, an in-water brawl erupted between the two sets of players.
Tensions boiled over after Australia scored a dramatic equaliser with 26 seconds left on the clock. The match finished 9-9 and then all hell broke loose. (Scroll down this page to watch the video).
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Although it’s hard to tell whether anyone was hurt in the altercation because of all the splashing, it’s clear that things became very heated. Too heated.
Fortunately, before the situation escalated any further, a couple of members of the Australia and Hungary teams acted as peacemakers and the fighting swiftly stopped.
Video: Fight breaks out between Hungary and Australia
Hungary have history...
Interestingly, Monday’s fisticuffs came on the 60th anniversary of the infamous ‘Blood in the Water’ match between Hungary and the USSR.
It was given that name after the Hungarian player Ervin Nador had blood pouring above his eye after being punched by Soviet player Valentin Prokopov.
Hungary fourth favourites to win gold
Hungary are currently the fourth favourites to win gold at the Rio Olympics, behind favourites Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro.
The Hungarians took gold at Sydney, Athens and Beijing, but were knocked out by Italy at the quarter-final stage in London four years ago.
However, they’ll need to start picking up victories following two successive draws against Serbia and the Australians.
Hungary take on Greece on Wednesday before playing Japan and hosts Brazil in their final two Group A matches.
Is water polo a surprisingly violent sport? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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