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Water Polo Canada – The home country favorites are headed to the gold medal finals, on Thursday, at the Junior (19U) Pan American Water Polo Championships in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Canadian women, undefeated in the tournament, downed Puerto Rico 15-4 in their semi-final matchup on Wednesday.

After a somewhat lackluster first quarter, Canada would get things going in the last minute of the period and headed into the second quarter with a 4-1 lead. Canada would shut down Puerto Rico in the second quarter and go on to add six more to their lead of 10-1 to start the second half.  Canada then controlled the second half of the game, outscoring Puerto Rico 5-2 and going on to win 15-4.

 “I feel like we are starting to have really good chemistry together and have come from a good team to a great team,” said Quebec-based athlete Yasmine Rachid. “Today’s game was a slower start, but once we got going, we kept going! We are ready for tomorrow. We are really excited to be heading into that gold medal game and ready to meet the Americans. We want to give it all we’ve got,” she said.

Gold medal match-ups would indeed not be the same without the battle of Canada and the United States, swimming off against each other for the championship title.  The United States women earned their spot in the gold medal final after a convincing 18-7 win over Brazil this afternoon. The American men, on their end, have gone undefeated in the tournament and won their semis game against Brazil, 13-11 to access the finals.

The Canadian men earned their own place in the finals later in the day, after a 18-10 win against the Argentinian national team.

The women of Team Canada, including local Alberta athletes Kyra Christmas and Nina Ceklic, will begin their quest for gold on Thursday at 5:30 p.m at the Kinsmen Centre in Edmonton. The men’s gold medal game is then set for 6:40 p.m. and will be followed by the medals ceremonies immediately after.


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Pascale Beaudoin, WPC Communications,