Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Athina
Date Started: August 15, 2004
Date Finished: August 29, 2004
Format: Round-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches.
|Silver:||Serbia and Montenegro|
Hungary, traditionally the strongest water polo power, came into Athens as the clear favorite. They were the defending champions, the 2003 World Champions, the 2002 World Cup Champions, and earlier in 2004, had won the World League Superfinal, defeating Serbia & Montenegro in the final match. The two teams met again in group play, Hungary prevailing 6-4. Both teams would move into the single-elimination tournament, Hungary going undefeated in group play, and moving directly to the semi-finals.
The final saw Hungary and Serbia & Montenegro meet again. The former Yugoslavia moved out to an early 3-0 lead, but Hungary tied the match 5-5 at halftime. Serbia & Montenegro again led 7-5 at the end of three quarters, but Hungary scored the only three goals of the final period to win the gold medal, 8-7, and confirm their status as the world’s top water polo team.
But for the second consecutive Olympics, Serbia & Montenegro had the leading scorer of the Olympic tournament, this being Aleksandar Šapić, who led the goalscoring in both Sydney and Athens with 18 goals.