Let’s get it started!

The opening ceremony of FINA Water Polo World Cup was held after the first competition day of the tournament in the art palace “Neftyanik” of Surgut.

The event was attended not only the heroes of the competitions – players, coaches and team members – but also by the governor of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Natalia Komarova, the President of Russian Water Polo Federation Alexey Vlasenko, deputy chairman of the Technical Committee of the International Federation of FINA Mark Koganov, the mayor of Surgut Vadim Shuvalov and other officials.

The the performance started with the introducing. Teams came to the stage accompanied by the jam session style music and light show in national colors of every team. There were eight strongest world teams – USA, Spain, Canada, Australia, South Africa, China, New Zealand and Russia.

President of Russian Water Polo Federation Alexey Vlasenko, deputy chairman of the Technical Committee of FINA Mark Koganov and governor of Ugra Natalia Komarova attended the stage for welcoming speech.

“It is a big honor for me to be here tonight in this hall with the top-8 women’s water polo teams. A few years ago FINA gave credence to Russia and Kazan to host World Championships and it became one of the best in history. Today we are opening a new page in our history, the whole world of water sports is discovering a new city, a new capital of water sports in Russia. This is Surgut”, – declared Alexey Vlasenko.

“Today, when we saw this new sport center, a swimming-pool, so many water polo fans it became clear for us that Surgut will become a new discovery and a new place where our sport will be developed. This bright event is very important for the whole water polo family as new rules will be tested for the third time and for the first time on the senior level.  It is a very important moment for our sport and it is a great responsibility too. With responsibility comes great opportunity. Today all of us can see the excellent preparation of the organizing committee. And I am sure this World Cup will lead to a popularization of water polo”, – assured Mark Koganov.

“I am sure that after this event there’s a chance that male part of water polo family will also join us here in Ugra. We want our region to become a home for you and we also want to let you know that Ugra is ready to host any kind of water polo events – men’s as well as women’s. If this will make your sport more popular among our people, we will be happy and thankful for this”, – said Natalia Komarova.

Upon the end of the official part of the ceremony the audience watched a bright and picturesque show that presented the unique beauty of Ugra land, authentic traditions, culture and music of Western Siberia as well as its industrial past, present and future.

Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous okrug is a home of many nations and many religions, that’s why the friendship of nations became the key idea of the whole ceremony and a song “There are millions of us” which name was self-explanatory was inspiring everybody to new achievements and success.

It is to be reminded that FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup will continue till September’09. Four games will be played each day starting from 3 p.m. local time (GMT +5) at sport complex “Olymp” of Surgut. The final game, that will define the winner of the World Cup, is scheduled on September’09 at 7:30 p.m. local time.