Utrecht 1966 and Barcelona 1970

11th European Championship – Utrecht (Netherlands) 1966

Electronic debut
For the first time, an electronic timing system was used at the European Championships. It was especially important for the swimming disciplines, but it was also useful for water polo. However, just in case, there was still the good old “stopwatch” on the scoreboard because at that time people did not believe so much in technical progress.

A record number of national teams
The largest number of national teams ever, 17, took part in the tournament in Utrecht! Four groups were formed, three groups with 4 teams each and one group with 5 national teams. West Germany, which had not participated four years earlier in Leipzig, returned to the European Championships. The tournament lasted from 20 to 28 August.

The first gold for the USSR
The national team of the then Soviet Union, which was to become a world power, began to rise at the European Championships. After bronze in 1958 and silver in 1962, they ascended the throne for the first time in Utrecht, becoming European champions and ushering in their era. The silver medal went to the GDR and the bronze to Yugoslavia. All three states have not existed for 30 years.

European Champions 1966 – USSR: Vadim Guljajev, Vladimir Kuznjecov, Boris Grišin, Iosif Zemsov, Vladimir Šmudsky, Vladimir Semenov, Boris Popov, Valerij Puskarev, Aleksandr Dolgušin, Leonis Osipov, Igor Grabovsky.

12th European Championship – Barcelona (Spain) 1970

3 Pool Tournament
For the first time, the European Water Polo Championships was held in no less than 3 pools! In addition to the Bernat Picornell Pools, a swimming pool on Montjuic Mountain in the centre of Barcelona, the tournament was also held at the San Jorge University swimming pool in Zaragoza, not far from Barcelona, and in Sabadell, practically a suburb of the Catalan capital.

Three groups of 5 teams each
Fifteen national teams took part, divided into three groups of 5 teams each. The competition lasted from 4 to 12 September. This made the 1970 championship in Barcelona, together with the one in Utrecht four years earlier, the longest European Championship ever.

All medals to Eastern Europe
Completely identical to the tournament four years earlier, all podium places were reserved for teams from Eastern Europe. The Soviet Union defended the gold medal, Hungary won the silver medal and Yugoslavia took the bronze.

European Champions 1970 – USSR: Vadim Guljajev, Anatolij Akimov, Aleksandr Dreval, Aleksandr Dolgušin, Vladimir Semenov, Aleksej Barkalov, Aleksandr Šidlovski, Vjačeslav Skok, Leonid Osipov, Valerij Puskarev, Vladimir Šmudski, Oleg Bovin.