US routs South Africa 24-2 to begin water polo title defense

Kiley Neushul, left, of the US challenges for the ball with Amica Hallendorff of South Africa during the South Africa vs United States women's water polo Group B first round match at the Swimming World Championships in Hajos Alfred National Swimming Pool in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, July 16, 2017. (Balazs Czagany/MTI via AP)

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) - Four-time winner United States began the defense of its women's water polo title with a 24-2 rout of South Africa at the world swimming championships on Sunday.

Jamie Neushul scored a game-high six goals.

The U.S., Olympic champion and winner of every major competition since the 2013 worlds, leads Group B on goal difference from Spain, which enjoyed a 10-2 win over New Zealand.

Italy defeated Canada 10-4 and China began its campaign with an 11-4 victory over Brazil in Group A.

The Netherlands, 2015 silver medalist, defeated France 17-2 in Group C, where host Hungary beat Japan 20-11.

In Group D, Australia defeated Kazakhstan 16-4, and Russia had a 9-7 win over Greece.

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