Host City: Roma, Italy
Venue(s): Olympic Swimming Stadium, Roma; Rose Swimming Pool, Roma
Date Started: August 25, 1960
Date Finished: September 3, 1960
Format: Round-robin pools advanced teams to the round-robin final pool.
Italy had won the gold medal at the 1948 Olympics, while Hungary had won the last two golds, also placing first in 1932 and 1936. Along with Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, these were the four strongest sides in the world, and they would finish in the top four at Rome, with all four advancing out of the semi-final pools to the medal round. There Italy and the Soviets tied with one win and one loss, and were equal on goal differential among the contested matches of the final pool. But the gold medal came down to the Italy-USSR match that had taken place in the semi-final pools, which Italy won 2-0. Hungary claimed the bronze medal as Yugoslavia lost both of its final pool matches.
Hungary’s Dezső Gyarmati won his fourth consecutive water polo medal, after golds in 1952 and 1956 and a silver in 1948. He would return in 1964 to win his fifth medal, an all-time Olympic water polo record, with another gold. He is considered, with Spain’s Manuel Estiarte, who competed from 1980-92, one of the two greatest ever water poloists. The leading goal scorer of the 1960 Olympic tournament was the surprising Fred Tisue of the United States, which placed seventh. Tisue scored 12 goals in Rome, including five in one game against France in a preliminary round match.
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