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

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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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