Host City: Beijing, China
Date Started: August 10, 2008
Date Finished: August 24, 2008
Participants: 256 (153 men and 103 women) from 14 countries
Youngest Participant: Christina Tsoukala (17 years, 35 days)
Oldest Participant: Alexander Tchigir (39 years, 278 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 77 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): United States (2 medals)
The 2008 water polo tournaments for men and women were contested at the Ying Tung Natatorium, which was the site of only water polo and the swimming section of the modern pentathlon. Unlike at most Olympics, the swimming and diving were held at separate locations.
The format of the men’s and women’s tournaments were the same as in 2004. There were 12 teams who contested two preliminary round-robin pools of six teams each. The winner of each pool was seeded directly into the semi-finals, while the second- and third-placed teams in each pool played quarter-final matches to move onto the semis. The semis and final rounds were single-elimination for the medals. The lower-placed teams in the preliminary pools played consolation matches to determine places 7-12.
The women’s field had eight teams, with two preliminary round-robin pools of four teams each. As with the men, the winner of each pool was seeded directly in to the semis, while the second- and third-placed teams in each pool played quarter-final matches to move onto the semis. The semis and final rounds were single-elimination for the medals. The last-placed teams in the preliminary pools played a single match to determine places 7-8.