By Jo Halpin

Water_polo_womens_junior_championshipsSeptember 11 - The ninth FINA World Junior Women's Water Polo Championships begin in Trieste today.

The 2009 champions, Russia, are in Group B and must face South Africa, the Netherlands - winners of the inaugural event in 1995 - and Uzbekistan in the preliminary round.

Australia, champions in 1999 and 2007, and the United States, in 2001 and 2005, are the only countries to have won the event twice.

In Trieste, the USA play Indonesia, hosts Italy and 1997 winners Greece in Group C, while Australia are in Group A, alongside China, Hungary and Mexico.

In the final group, D, Canada - winners in 2003 - will battle it out with Germany, Brazil and Spain to progress in the tournament.

The competition is for athletes aged 20 years and under, and the final is due to be held on September 17.

It is the second time the World Championships have been held in Italy, the 1999 edition having been staged in Messina.

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