BP 2017

Canada’s women’s water polo team has extensive experience and long history, since they have been competing in major international events since the 70s. However, apart from the gold medal at the 1981 FINA World Cup, they have not managed to win at any major competitions. They have won a medal four times at the FINA World Championships, and hope to finish on the podium in Budapest.

There have never been so many good women’s water polo teams in the world in the last couple of decades as now. For this reason, it is not easy to talk about chances, because in addition to top favourites there are some other teams which may surprise us at the 17th FINA World Championships, including Team Canada.

Water polo has a great tradition in Canada.

The women’s team, led by Claude Lavoie, took part at the first FINA World Cup in 1979, when they finished fourth.

They were improving continuously and won a medal at the World Cup three times in the 80s, including a gold medal at the 1981 event in Brisbane (AUS), finishing ahead of the Netherlands and Australia. Key members of that fantastic team were Sylvie Archambault, Heather Gifford, Hilary Knowles, Denise Prefontaine and Sylvie Thibault, among others.

The Canadian team participated of course at the 1986 FINA World Championships in Madrid as well, where women’s water polo debuted. The failed to win a medal (4th place), but they won silver at the next event in 1991 in Perth.

Team Canada has not missed a FINA World since then, and added three more medals to their tally. They finished third in 2001 in Fukuoka, beating the arch-rival Team USA 6-5 in the bronze match. They repeated the same result two years later in Montreal, where they defeated Russia 8-3 in the match for the bronze. Their last medal at the FINA World came in 2009 in Rome, where they remained unbeaten until the final: they beat Germany, Hungary and Russia in the knockout stage, but were defeated by Team USA in the match for the gold medal.

The Canadians, led by Patrick Oaten, had some excellent players such as Krystina Alogbo, Dominique Perreault, Christine Robinson and Tara Campbell.

The Canadians have been waiting for a gold medal at a major international event since 1981. They have won some silver and bronze medals at the FINA World Championships, the World Cup and the World League. They stood on the podium at the 2013 World League Super Final, where they finished third.

Team Canada have changed a lot since last year. A couple of senior players retired in 2016, but several experienced players remained with the team, including Joelle Bekhazi, Dominique Perreault and Marina Radu, who will be joined by a couple of young and talented players at the FINA World.

The Canadian team will play Italy, Brazil and China in group A at the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest this summer.