Flora Bolonyai heads to 2012 Olympic Games

By helping Team Hungary capture a spot in the semifinals of the women’s water polo tournament in Italy, USC sophomore goalie Flora Bolonyai and her Hungarian teammates qualified for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Hungary for more · Sophomore goalkeeper Flora Bolonyai will be competing in the London Olympics for her home country of Hungary. - Photo courtesy of Sports Information

The 18-5 win over Kazakhstan on Friday that propelled Hungary to the semifinals was enough for the team to earn a berth in the eight-team Olympic field.

Alumna Sofia Konoukh also helped Russia qualify Friday after a 7-6 victory over Canada, which also consisted of USC graduates Joelle Bekhazi and Rosanna Tomiuk.

Konoukh will appear in the Olympics for the fourth time in her career.

Another USC graduate, Ilse van der Meijden of the Netherlands, barely missed the cut after the Dutch fell 6-7 to Italy in the quarterfinals. Van der Meijden and the Netherlands won the gold in the 2008 Beijing Games.

Though Hungary and Russia fell in their semifinal matchups to Spain and Italy on Saturday, both teams will be joining Australia, China, Italy, Great Britain, Spain and the United States in London.

The United States Olympic water polo roster will be announced next month and could include USC seniors Lauren Wenger, Tumua Anae and Kami Craig.

The three were members of the national team that secured an Olympic berth after winning the Pan-American Games.

Bolonyai will return to USC to help the Women of Troy in the upcoming Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament in USC’s attempt to qualify for the 2012 NCAA tournament in May.

The tournament begins Friday and will continue through Sunday.