Double bronze for Canada at the 2017 Youth Pan American Championships
Water Polo Canada – Lima, Peru (July 9, 2017) – After disappointing semi-finals results, both Canadian teams bounced back to capture the bronze at the 2017 UANA 17U Youth Pan American Championships, in Lima, Peru. The Canadian Women dominated their Argentinian opponents to earn a 17-6 victory and win the bronze. In another tight game, it was the Canadian Men who held the upper hand as they defeated Colombia 13-12 to secure the bronze medal as well.
With their third place finish, both Canadian teams qualify for the FINA Youth World Championships next year along with USA, Brazil and Argentina. Colombia also qualified on the men’s side as they finished in fourth place.
On the women’s side, Canada had a strong start taking a 4-1 lead in the first quarter. Argentina tried to even up the score entering the second quarter, but Canada kept playing the system to keep a 4 goals lead at half-time (7-3). The second half was all Canada as the players outscored their opponents 10-3 to secure a 17-6 victory over Argentina to capture the bronze medal. In this match, the Canadian team showcased the depth of its offense as nine different players registered on the scoreboard. Quebec’s own, Floranne Carroll led the way with a 4 goals performance.
“I think we cleaned up our act, we came in prepared and we played our game, we didn’t fall into the level of their play. I think that even though we had little time to get together as a team, we learned how to play together as a team and to play at a high intensity. Hopefully if we get most of the same girls together we’ll keep improving as a team and hopefully get a top 5 at Worlds next summer” commented Alison Cameron of the 17u women’s national team.
“This was a good way to end our tournament, we started off strong and were able to control play throughout the game. The girls showed a lot of character coming back and playing this way after a disappointing semi. Overall this tournament was a great learning experience for the girls. They learnt about playing a physical type of style and competing until the end. They showed a lot of resilience which made the coaching staff proud. They were also able to live and learn about what being an elite athlete truly is, inside and outside of the pool.” said Head Coach, Dan Bekhazi.
On the men’s side, Canada was looking to finish their tournament on high note as they were facing a surprising Colombian team. The whole game was a tense match-up for these two teams with both squads matching the intensity of the other, playing with the nerves of the crowd. In the first, the Canadian squad scored the first goal, but Colombia added two goals to take the lead. In the second quarter, neither team was able to take advantage over the other. We were all tied up at 5 at half time. Colombia started the third quarter strong with an early, adding two more to take an 8-5 lead. The Canadian squad regrouped and orchestrated a comeback with three consecutive goals. However, Colombia’s Simon Buitagro made sure is team kept the advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Trailing by two goals (10-8) with 6 minutes to play in the fourth, the Canadian players add to step up their offensive game. The red and white scored three consecutive goals to put Canada in front 11-10. Colombia answered back with a goal a minute later, to even up the score once again (11-11).
Ontarian Kyril Marinov netted his fifth goal of the game to give Canada the lead, but Colombia answered back 24 seconds later. In the end, it was Ottawa’s Bogdan Djerkovic, who made the difference by scoring the game-winner with a little over a minute left.
“We played with all our hearts today, the best that we could and we came out on top. You should never underestimate a team, especially a team like Colombia. They had a 3 goals lead on us at the end of third quarter, we came out of it and won it for Canada “said Kyril Marinov of 17u men’s national team.
In the gold medal matches, USA reaped double gold, with its men edging Brazil 6-5 and its women’s team capturing a 9-7 win over Brazil at these 2017 UANA Youth Pan American Championships.
Final Men’s Standings:
1st Gold- United States of America, 2nd Silver- Brazil, 3rd Bronze-Canada, 4th Colombia, 5th Argentina, 6th- Peru, 7th- Trinidad and Tobago, 8th Puerto Rico
Final Women’s Standings:
1st Gold- United States of America, 2nd Silver- Brazil, 3rd Bronze-Canada, 4th Argentina, 5th Peru, 6th Puerto Rico, 7th Trinidad and Tobago
For further information and media requests, please contact:
Mylène Turcotte-Fitzgerald, Water Polo Canada Communications, (613) 748-5682 x325, email@example.com