1st European Championships – Budapest (Hungary) 1926
The tournament lasted only five days
The first European Water Polo Championships was held in the capital of Hungary, Budapest. The water polo tournament, which was part of the European Aquatics Championships, lasted only five days, from 18 August to 22 August.
Only 4 national teams competed
Logically, the tournament was short because only 4 teams competed, namely – Hungary, Sweden, Germany, and Belgium. This was also the final ranking of the Championships. The competition system was league, i.e. ‘everyone against everyone’ or three rounds. The winner Hungary defeated Germany 8:1, Belgium 5:0, and Sweden 3:2.
Competitions every 4 years
In 1926, it was decided that the European Championships should be held every 4 years from the following year (1927), as there were also advocates of holding the competitions every year. However, that was given up because it would be too expensive.
European Champions 1926 – Hungary: Istvan Barta, Tibor Fazekas, Marton Homonnai, Alajos Keseru, Ferenc Keseru, Jozsef Vertesy, Janos Wenk. Coach: Erno Beleznay
2nd European Championships – Bologna (Italy) 1927
2 days longer, and 8 more teams
The water polo tournament of the 2nd European Water Polo Championships was held in the Italian city of Bologna and had three times as many national teams as in 1926. No less than 12 teams came to Bologna, but the water polo tournament was still short and lasted only 5 days (31 August – 5 September).
Since the tournament was played, the gold medal was decided in the final, where Hungary and France faced each other. Hungary was better and won 3:1. The bronze medal was won by Belgium, who was ahead of fourth-placed Sweden. They were followed by Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, Yugoslavia, Spain, the Netherlands, and Italy.
the first LEN Bureau
The first LEN Office or LEN Bureau was established at the 2nd European Championships in Bologna in 1927.
European Champions 1927 – Hungary: Istvan Barta, Laszlo Czele, Tibor Fazekas, Marton Homonnai, Alajos Keseru, Ferenc Keseru, Jozsef Vertesy, Janos Wenk. Coach: Bela Komjadi
Pool in Bologna and official poster of the 2nd European Water Polo Championships in 1927