Water Polo Technical Delegate: “The Games allow us to visualize sports”

Puerto Rican Manuel de Jesús highlighted the accelerated progress of the swimming pools at the Estadio Nacional for a qualifying discipline for the Paris Olympics.

The aquatic sports at the Pan American Games are a set of five disciplines: open water, diving, swimming, artistic swimming, and water polo. Even when teamwork is present in all of those disciplines, water polo is the collective activity by excellence in the pool.

In Chile it's practiced in the north cities of Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, and in the capital, that’s why Santiago 2023 is a great alternative for its definitive take-off. “The Games allow us to visualize our sport because of the huge exposition; and if we join that and the work the Chilean Federation is doing to develop water polo from childhood, it results in more people watching and considering it,” indicated the international technical delegate Manuel de Jesús.

The ex water polo athlete, who was part of the Puerto Rico national team, referee, and World Aquatics technical commission member, visited in situ the building of the Centro Acuático located at the north area of the Parque Estadio Nacional. “I’ve seen this before and now it’s like the last one was exploited to create a new precinct. It’s precise to maximize it and give it a great use because it’ll be a good building and it’ll have a facility of first level,” he indicated.

The water polo male national team disputed the bronze medal at the Asuncion South American Games (picture: given).


At the water polo World Cup, to be held in July in Fukuoka (Japan), the American continent will be represented in both genders by the United States, Canada, and Argentina, who entered the global event after Brazil's withdrawal. In female water polo, the U.S. team is the favorite for the title after winning the last three editions of the Olympic Games and four World Championships in a row.

“In male category, Brazil, Argentina, and Canada stand out. Those three teams were tied during the last qualifier, they all beat each other and it was finally defined by goal difference. They’re three teams that are very evenly matched and we have to consider the United States. This case is the same for female teams, although the Americans are the huge favorites,” indicated De Jesús.

In Santiago 2023, there are four exponents along with three qualifiers, both in male and female teams, who will meet each other in the Central American and Caribbean Games that will be carried out between June and July. It’s precise to mention that the host, Chile, will be part of this event due to its fourth place in males and sixth in females in the Asuncion 2022 South American Games.

Regarding the national performance, the ITD commented that "it’s extremely important to meet the greatest exponents of this sport, this is the first opportunity that Chile will have to be exposed to a high level of water polo, look good and improve its level, especially when it has very young teams that are going to different parts of the world to train and be prepared the best they can".

The Puerto Rican Manuel de Jesús Benítez is the president of the water polo Pan American technical commission and the Centro Caribe Sports. He’s also a member of the same instance in the World Aquatics (picture by: Santiago 2023).


The water polo competition will be carried out from October 30th to November 4th and for the first time, the ITD assures, there will be a double award: a quota for the Paris Olympic Games and two quotas for Doha World tournaments (Qatar), that will be carried out during February, 2024. “Those two are very important events and there will be great exponents, if one of them is qualified in its own right and comes out champion of the Games, the list runs,” he commented.

Water polo is a traditional discipline of the Pan American Games since Buenos Aires 1951 in males competitions and from Winnipeg 1999 in females. The United States is the undisputed winner of this with 18 out of 24 possible medals, Argentina is next with only two medals.

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