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McCann: Britain playing for pride; WATER POLO.

FIONA McCANN and Britain's women's water polo team suffered another dose of heartache as they lost to Russia 11-9 in an Olympic classification match despite taking the lead for the first time at London 2012.

Having already been edged out by Russia 7-6 in their opening match of the Games and then losing to Spain in the quarter-finals, Team GB continued to give a good account of themselves against the world's top teams with Chloe Wilcox finishing with a hat-trick.

But with a final match against Italy to come to decide who finishes seventh or eighth, centre-back McCann is confident that there is still more to come from Team GB.

"We have this unseen energy between us that we really use and we believe so much," she said.

"So it is not a surprise to me that we were ahead because I know what we can do and I know the team spirit we have got is just amazing and I wouldn't change anybody in the team.

"The Italian match is a pride match. They are a very proud nation and they have a massive history of water polo and I know these girls have probably been professional a lot longer than us.

"But we want to deliver a result for this crowd because they have been phenomenal and we really want to get it for them.

"Four years ago we lost 22-1 to Russia in the World League in Germany and in January we lost 15-10 to them and now we are losing by just one.

"Rio 2016 was always the plan for our team so if you can see that progression in just the last six months I think something special can happen with this team."

While they finished bottom of their pool, Britain gave as good as they got against the top seeds Spain in the quarter-final eventually going down to a 9-7 defeat.

Team GB made a confident start against Russia, taking a 5-4 lead by half-time before their opponents showed their clinical side to condemn the hosts to a fifth straight defeat. Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Get closer to the Games at


Chester's Fiona McCann
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Aug 9, 2012
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