Attila Bíró (Photo: Miklós Szabó)


After the final, you said you couldn't be happy about the World Championships silver medal. Is the memory somewhat beautiful now?
– These two weeks were a miracle, playing water polo and coaching in these conditions is an eternal experience for everyone. And so was the World Championships held in Hungary five years ago, but now it was accompanied by a result – Attila Bíró, head coach of the women's water polo team replied. – The silver medal is getting more beautiful. I know we will not always play a World Championships final and there will not always be a chance to win, but I am not saying that I will be haunted by the result for the rest of my life. We've had the opportunity to catch this American team, and I'm confident we'll have another chance to do that. I think this team can do it.

You kicked so hard into the advertising board at the end of the final, after the USA's second penalty!
– I was the best Bíró (referee) in that situation... In such a fantastic World Championships, it never occurred to me that they could block us with such decisions – if not an advantage, but I would have expected a little more correct judgments in the final.

You care about mental preparation a lot, and that's worth at least a silver...
– The team has proven many times how strong it is mentally. I would like to highlight two names: Imre Csernus and Miklós Palencsár have helped us a lot in recent years, and we can see their results.

Did you like that your team was so cool?
– I say in every meeting that I like to see cool, tough players in the water, and I think everyone saw at this World Championships that the team is made up of adroit players who are not afraid of anyone. Everything can be improved, even this, because it happened that we caused ourselves some problems with a stupid mistake or two.

From the outside, it seemed that this national team could do things that only the Americans had been able to do before. Have you managed to level up?
– I think I have. The last time the US played a close final was in 2015 against the Dutch, and since then, they have won all their finals by a huge margin. Perhaps in addition to the U.S. captain, we also left a mark on the players, not only in the Olympic group match but also in this final. It is also a fact that we are inexperienced in such situations, we also have to do more, so that we do not make excuses of external factors, but we control our own destiny.

In the World Championships final, the Hungarian women's water polo team was determined to catch the Americans, but all is not lost that is delayed – according to Attila Bíró, his team will be able to do the feat in the near future (Photo: Miklós Szabó)


How well did the new players integrate into the national team?
– Compared to the Olympics, we had three new players, two of whom are completely new recruits. Géraldine Mahieu and Kamilla Faragó have not yet played in front of a home crowd in an event of this level and atmosphere, but they both succeeded. I don't envy them because they had a very difficult task, but I'm sure they can add even more either at the European Championships or later. I'm not dissatisfied with them, but it's encouraging for the future that they still have more in them. Zsuzska Máté was a World Championships rookie, but she has already participated in the European Championships. I am very happy with her development, even during the World Championships, she improved continuously. Several players played in a balanced way, I think of Gréta Gurisatti, Rita Keszthelyi-Nagy, Alda Magyari and Vanda Vályi; the others were a bit undulating. There are players that I expect even more from, even though they are already key players in the team. The European Championships will be very good for those who have been less balanced to prove themselves. We have mentioned quite a few times that the Olympics is the goal; this is not the end of the road, but the middle, and there are quite a few world competitions until the Paris Olympics where we would like to put the cherry on the cake.

What does the next period look like?
– After a break of two and a half weeks, we will start preparing for the European Championships on Margaret Island. We are going to have a week-long training camp in Balatonfűzfő, and then we will take part in an international tournament in Sassari, Sardinia. Almost like a mini European Championship awaits us as our opponents are Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy. The five best European teams will meet between August 3-10. We close the preparations on Margaret Island, from there, we'll travel to Split. I will be able to bring 15 players; there will be some changes in the squad. I can say that not the World Championships team will be taking part in the European Championship, but I hope the result will not be worse.

Do you have some rest between the two world competitions?
– I'm going to be resting for two weeks. When we start preparing, I will have time to analyze the World Championships, to map out the opponents. This will be enough, I definitely don't want to think about water polo now.

What will happen to the grapes during this period?
– I have my people to care about them. Actually, this heat isn't necessarily bad for the grapes, it's going to be a great harvest... I will miss the beginning because of the European Championships, but I will also join the harvest after that – this will be the best recreation.