Baku, March 15, AZERTAC
The final spots in the Baku 2015 Water Polo tournaments will be up for grabs throughout Europe.
Twenty-two nations are busy fighting for the final eight spots in the 16-team men's Water Polo field at the Baku 2015 European Games, while 13 countries are battling for the last six spots in the 12-nation women's competition.
The men's qualifiers are broken down into four groups with the top two teams of each group booking their ticket to Azerbaijan. Those countries will join the seven men's teams which qualified at last year's junior continental championships and hosts Azerbaijan.
The top two of each of the three women's qualifying groups also secure a spot at Baku 2015 with the five teams from last year's women's junior continental championships and hosts Azerbaijan.
Both qualifying competitions run until 15 March.
The hosting countries for the men's tournaments are Netherlands (Group A with Greece, Ukraine, Belarus, Slovenia and Portugal); Austria (Group B with Turkey, Georgia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Moldova); Poland (Group C with Romania, France, Israel and Czech Republic) and Malta (Group D with Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland and Latvia).
The three women's groups are being played out in France (Group A with Great Britain, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Portugal), Slovakia (Group B with Turkey, Israel and Bulgaria) and Serbia (Group C with Germany, Croatia and Romania).
Malta head coach Karl Izzo believes that Germany is the strongest side in the men's Group D with Britain also being very physical.
"We can probably compete with the Brits and the Swiss and that gives us a chance to qualify for the Games in Baku if we can play to our full potential," Izzo told the Times of Malta.
Great Britain's women's head coach Mr. Nick Buller was confident going into the tournament after victories over fellow Group A teams France and Czech Republic in recent preparations.