Tournament play in the World Master’s Water Polo Championships begins Monday, Aug. 7 in Budapest, Hungary. The most elite teams in the world, comprised of past and future Olympians, will compete in an eight-team round robin event, with the championship game scheduled for Friday, Aug. 11.
A former Sonoma Valley High athlete, goalie Jack Curley (SVHS 2005), will be leading the Olympic Club team through the brackets. Their schedule begins with a match against WC Somovi, followed by games against MAFA (Hungary) and WC St. Petersburg (Russia). Other teams entered are from Belarus, Sweden, Neptun (Russia) and the local Bay Area Masters.
Organized by FINA, the Water Polo equivalent of soccer’s FIFA, this is one of several World Master’s championships being held at the same site as last week’s World Championships. The tournament is said to be a taste of the 2020 Olympics.
Curley began playing water polo as a sophomore at Sonoma Valley High. He then went to Santa Rosa Junior college, where his team won the NorCal title. That was followed by two years playing at Pepperdine University in Malibu, where his team was ranked number two in the nation, behind powerhouse USC. He has been the Olympic Club goalie since that time.