Five West Australians are heading to Budapest after being named in Australia’s water polo teams for the upcoming FINA World Aquatics Championships.
Zoe Arancini will again captain the Aussie Stingers, while there were berths on the men’s team for George Ford, John Hedges, Luke Pavillard and Tim Putt.
Arancini and Ford are dual Olympians, having represented Australia at the last two games, while Putt was selected in the Aussie Sharks’ squad for the Tokyo Olympics.
After captaining the Stingers to a gold medal at this year’s FINA World League Intercontinental Cup in Peru, Arancini said the squad was excited by the prospect of another international tournament.
“For most of the girls it’s been two years with limited international competition, so we’re really looking forward to getting back to Europe and playing at the World Championships,” Arancini said.
“There’s plenty of fresh, young faces in our team – for some of them it will be their first major competition which is always exciting.
“The World Championships is going to be our biggest competition this year and we’re all looking forward to it.
“But it’s also going to be different to most other World Championships, with the fact that the groups will be held in different cities. It’s all a new learning experience and it should be very exciting.”
The Stingers finished fifth at last year’s Olympics and find themselves in Group C with Brazil, Kazakhstan and New Zealand.
After finishing ninth in Tokyo, the Sharks have been drawn in Group D in Budapest, alongside the USA, Serbia and Kazakhstan.
The water polo World Championships run from June 20 to July 3.