Italian job for Fran at Games

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ROTHERHAM-BORN Fran Leighton will lead Great Britain women’s water polo teams against Australia, Italy and Russia in the group stages of this summer’s Olympic Games.

Leighton, aged 30, who plays for City of Sheffield is Team GB’s captain and has just completed a test event at the Olympic Park.

Although they suffered four defeats in their first experience at the Games venue, Leighton’s team performed well and pushed one of the gold medal favourites, USA, close on Saturday as they went down 7-6.

Yesterday in the third place play-off Team GB lost for the second time to Hungary. This time it was 11-4.

Great Britain’s men’s team face a difficult task just to progress beyond the group stage of the Games after being drawn alongside the three teams who occupied the podium places four years ago.

Hungary, Olympic champions three times in a row, plus Beijing silver and bronze medallists the United States and Serbia. Their group also includes Montenegro and Romania.

GB team captain Craig Figes said: “It’s a really tough draw. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania were the top three teams at the European Championships this year and Hungary have won the gold at the past three Olympic Games.”