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Water Polo Canada  – (OTTAWA, March 17, 2016) – The Canadian Senior Women’s Water Polo Team is looking to firm up its Road to Rio through an ultimate attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games. Under the guidance of Montreal-based coaches David Paradelo and Justin Oliveira, thirteen women will represent Canada in the 2016 Olympic Qualifying Tournament from March 21 to 28 in Gouda, Netherlands. The event will be the final qualifying opportunity ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games and a top-four finish will earn Canada a ticket to Brazil.

Several senior national team veterans will help the Canadian squad in its quest for qualification. Among them are team captain Krystina Alogbo, speedster Dominique Perrault (Montreal, QC), and defender Christine Robinson (Lachine, QC), the latter being the only team member having represented Canada during Olympic games, in 2004. There will also be a few newer names on the Canadian roster, including Montrealers Axelle Crevier, 18, (Montreal, QC) and Hanna Yelizarova, 22, (Montreal, QC) as well as Calgarian Kelly McKee, 23.

“We are very excited that the team for Gouda is now announced. We have an amazing group of women ready to represent Canada and fight for an Olympic berth,” said Christine Robinson. “The team has been pushing so hard. We are ready to go!”

“The group has grown a lot from the challenges throughout the year,” said Coach David Paradelo. “Always working to build our team cohesion, we have seen the women really coming together over time to form a very complete unit,” he said.

The women’s qualification tournament is comprised of five days of group play where Canada will compete against South Africa, the United States, Greece, Japan and Spain. A crossover match in the quarterfinals will then determine what four nations will be represented in Rio. With Australia, China and Hungary having punched their tickets to the next Olympics during previous qualifying opportunities, and with Brazil receiving the host nation berth, there are four spots up for grabs as things get underway on March 21. The Canadian Women’s National Team is hoping to take part in its third Olympic games since the team was in competition in Athens in 2004 and Sydney, Australia, in 2000.

Canadian Women’s National Team Roster for 2016 Olympic Qualifier

1.     Alogbo, Krystina, Center, Montreal (QC), CAMO

2.     Bekhazi, Joelle, Attacker, Pointe-Claire (QC), DDO

3.     Colterjohn, Nicola, Goaltender, Hamilton (ON), Hamilton Hammer

4.     Crevier, Axelle, Attacker, Montreal (QC), CAMO

5.     Eggens, Carmen, Utility, Pitt Meadows (BC), Gatineau WP 

6.     Eggens, Monika, Attacker, Pitt Meadows (BC), Gatineau WP

7.     Gaudreault, Jessica, Goaltender, Ottawa (ON), Capital Wave

8.     McKee, Kelly, Defender, Calgary (AB), Calgary Renegades

9.     Monton, Katrina, Center, Dorval (QC), DDO

10.     Perrault, Dominique, Attacker, Montreal (QC), CAMO

11.     Robinson, Christine, Utility, Lachine (QC), DDO

12.     Wright, Emma, Attacker, Lindsay (ON), Scarborough Shadow

13.     Yelizarova, Hanna, Utility, Montreal (QC), CAMO

Staff Members

Head Coach: David Paradelo

Co-Coach/Team Leader: Justin Oliveira

Team Manager: Laurence Melancon

Video Technician/Assistant Coach: Angela Johnson

Physiotherapist: Felix Croteau

Massotherapist: Manon Prieur

Schedule of Canada’s Games at 2016 Olympic Qualification Tournament (All Times Local)

March 21 – vs South Africa 2:00pm

March 22 – vs United States 3:20pm

March 23 – vs Greece 12:40pm

March 24 – vs Japan 4:40pm

March 25 – vs Spain 2:00pm

March 26 – TBD (Quarterfinals)

March 27 – TBD (Semifinals)

March 28 – TBD (Finals)

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For information or interview requests, please contact:

Pascale Beaudoin, Water Polo Canada Communications, (514) 758-7472 or pbeaudoin@waterpolo.ca

About Water Polo Canada (www.waterpolo.ca)

Water Polo Canada (WPC) is the National Sport Organization for Water Polo in Canada. It is a not-for-profit, charitable organization operating under a Board of Directors elected by provincial/territorial members. Its purpose is to nationally lead the growth and the pursuit of excellence for the sport of water polo while respecting the following set of values: Accountability, Commitment, Equity, Innovation, Integrity and Teamwork. Water Polo Canada acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada and of other partners such as Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Sport Institutes network and the Coaching Association of Canada.