Miki Oca: “It's angry to lose a final but now it can be a stimulus”

“When you don't win, what do you do? Do you sink or do you say, hey, we'll have to add something more? Well, that's what it's all about.”


The Spanish women's water polo coach, Miki Oca, assured that having lost the final of the recent European Championship against the Netherlands can now be a “stimulus” for the Doha World Cup that the Spanish will open this Sunday against China, in the group stage. and in which they will seek gold and improve the silver of the last edition of Fukuoka 2023.

“This is the competition, and of course it's annoying to lose a final but I think it can even be a stimulus, to grit your teeth more now and go to this competition to put in what you couldn't put in in the previous one. It's what we all feel “, he assured in an interview with Europa Press.

Oca recognized, next to the CAR training pool in Sant Cugat (Barcelona), that the life of an athlete is managing victories and defeats. “Competition is this; there are competitions that you win and it's great, but the ones you don't win, what do you do? Do you sink or do you say, hey, we'll have to add something more? Well, that's what it's about,” he said.

Looking ahead to Doha 2024 the objective is the same as always; gold. “The first objective is always to be among the best and from there, obviously, to win. Of course we want to win, but hey, we know what a competition is and being among the best is always a good prize, from there, we as high as possible,” he asked.

In a “busy” year with the European, World Cup and Olympic Games, the Spanish team wants to continue in this World Cup event in the medals. “The team has worked very well and we are as excited as we always are at the beginning of each competition. We know that we have many teams ahead that have the capacity to be on the podium, to win medals, and so do we,” acknowledged the coach. .

The group stage will begin against China, an affordable rival on paper, with Greece and France completing the group. “We have the first match with China, the second match with Greece and the third match with France. Here, in this first phase, we are all going to fight to take first place that gives you direct access to the quarterfinals. In addition to that , whoever comes first always has a quarterfinal against a second from another group, which, theoretically, is more affordable,” he said.

“That said, it is also true that experience shows us that all the speculations that are made at the beginning of the competition in the end always come out all mixed up, always all changed. Therefore, I believe that the best thing is to focus on playing each game , in doing the best possible in each game, and trying to win every game, and from there we will see who the rival is that is in front of us,” said Oca.

They beat France and Greece in the recent European Championship in Eindhoven, but the coach does not want to think that everything is already done. Quite the opposite. “Another thing that we are aware of is that, it is true that we have seen both France and Greece recently and we have played with them and we have won the games, but we are also aware that each game “It's different. The competition is different, we have to put our feet on the ground and understand that most likely the games we find against these same rivals are not going to be like the ones they were,” he argued.

“I don't know if we have earned the respect of our rivals or not, but I do believe that this mentality that you are mentioning of not being afraid now is what we have to have in the competition. Hey, girls, I don't know who It's going to be the first in the group, the other or whoever, but we have to go to be first in the group and beat whoever is in front. And if we are second in the group, then we have to beat whoever is in front anyway. We have to “We go to each game to give our best and we are aware that whoever the rival is in front of us, we can win,” she stated forcefully.

Asked about the favorites, he pointed out, in addition to Spain, the United States and the Netherlands. “But of course you cannot underestimate either Italy, Hungary or Greece. In the last World Cup the United States lost in the quarterfinals against Italy. And Greece, despite the fact that in the European Championship we had a very good game and everything went smoothly for us If we are going to meet again, I would bet 100% that it will be a different match. And we are also clear that, despite the fact that we have lost against the Netherlands (two finals recently), if another match occurs it will be another match and “We have to play. That's what we have to keep in mind,” he concluded.