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Water Polo Canada – (Ottawa, February 14, 2017) – The Senior Men’s National Team has officially qualified for 2017 World Championships in Budapest, by finishing in second place at 2017 UANA Cup which ended last Saturday in Trinidad and Tobago. The two top finishing teams qualified for Worlds, to represent the Americas, along with the United States, who had previously qualified based on their second place finish at the World League, earlier this year.

The Canadians earned their qualification with a 21-1 win against the host team, Trinidad and Tobago, in the second semi-final on Friday, February 10. Brazil claimed the second spot available when they beat Argentina 11-5, in their semi-final.

On Saturday, Canada and Brazil went head-to-head in the Gold medal match. Overall, it was an extremely close game where both teams had their chances and showed great defense. In the first quarter, the Canadians played a man to man defense as the Brazilians chose to drop back their defense. With an extra-man advantage, neither team was able to score. The first goal of the quarter came from Canada’s George Torakis (#11), it was then 1-0 for the Canadians. In the second quarter, Brazil tied things up at 1-1 and even took a 3-1 lead at one point. With 16 seconds left in the half, Canada scored to cut the lead to 3-2. In the third, both teams had their scoring chances, but Canada was able to take advantage by scoring on two occasions to put the score at 4-3. In the last quarter, Brazil came out strong and capitalize on their opportunities. Despite, the Canadians last minute effort, Brazil resisted and won the game 6-5 to take the gold medal. Canada had to settle for silver.

In their first major tournament as group, the Senior Men’s National Team were disappointed by their second place finish knowing it was such a close game. Despite this, the players were satisfied with their overall performance especially when they were able to come together as group and bounce back from their loss to Argentina to go on and win against Brazil in the round robin. With this important victory, the Canadian men made sure to finish first in the group and place themselves in a more favorable position for the semi-finals.  

In the next few weeks, the Canadians will begin their training for the upcoming 2017 World Championships. After Saturday’s game, Head Coach, Pino Porzio, was pleased with his team performance throughout the tournament and he is excited to start working with this young Canadian team in preparation for Worlds.

“On Monday we will begin our work in order to arrive in the best possible manner to Budapest World Championship” he said. Coach Porzio also praised the performance of his goalkeeper, Milan Radenovic, who replaced Dusan Aleksic, who wasn’t able to play in the tournament due to an injury.

The next few months will be busy for Water Polo Canada and its National team program, as both men and women senior teams have qualified for the 2017 Worlds Championships that will take place July 14th – 30th in Budapest, Hungary.

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For further information and media requests, please contact:
Mylène Turcotte-Fitzgerald, Water Polo Canada Communications, (613) 748-5682 x325, mfitzgerald@waterpolo.ca

About Water Polo Canada

Water Polo Canada is the National Sport Federation and governing body for the sport of water polo in Canada. It manages the National and Olympic Teams as well as the domestic development plan. (www.waterpolo.ca)