Water Polo Canada has announced its women’s and men’s rosters for the FINA World Championships which start this weekend.
We’ve got the scoop on who made the team and when they’re in action in Budapest.
The women’s team will be suiting up July 16 to battle in their first round robin match against Italy. They hit the water next July 18 as they compete against China, and then again on July 20 against Brazil. The women’s crossover matches are scheduled to take place July 22 with the quarterfinals on July 24, the semifinals on July 26 and the medal matches on July 28.
The last time the women’s team brought home a medal from worlds was in 2009 when they captured silver. But this past season saw the squad achieve success at the FINA World League Super Final when they brought home the silver medal. Members of that team also on the world championship roster are Joëlle Békhazi, Krystina Alogbo, Christine Robinson, Emma Wright, Hayley McKelvey, Monika Eggens, Kyra Christmas, Shae Fournier, Elyse Lemay-Lavoie and Jessica Gaudreault.
Three of Team Canada’s female veterans heading to worlds for another chance at gold are Békhazi, Alogbo and Robinson. They’ll be joined by a few of their teammates from the 2015 Pan Am Games team that won silver, including Eggens, Fournier, Gaudreault and Wright.
The 31-year-old Alogbo is no stranger to the game as she competes at her seventh worlds (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015). Alogbo was part of both women’s water polo teams that made history by winning medals at the worlds, first the bronze in 2005 and the silver in 2009. She also won back-to-back-to-back silver medals at the Pan American Games in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
Békhazi will be hitting the water for her sixth world championships (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015), having also won a silver medal at worlds in 2009. That same year she was also a part of the team that captured a first-ever silver in the FINA Water Polo World League. More recently, Bekhazi has kept up her reputation as she helped Team Canada win silver at the 2011 and 2015 Pan Am Games.
Robinson has also earned her fair share of medals. Returning to worlds for her seventh appearance (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015), the 33-year-old vet is ready to reel in some more. Alongside Alogbo, Robinson won bronze at worlds in 2005 and then silver in 2009. She also joined Alogbo in Team Canada’s three straight silver medal wins at the Pan Am Games in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
The men’s team will be diving into the tournament a day after the women, competing in their first round robin match July 17 against Montenegro. They will also face Kazakhstan on July 19 and Brazil on July 21. The men’s crossover matches are scheduled on July 23 followed by quarterfinals on July 25, the semifinals on July 27 and the medal matches on July 29.
The Canadian men have never won a medal at worlds, but did stand on the podium at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto with a bronze medal. Earlier this year they won silver at the UANA Cup, the Pan American event that served as the qualifier for the world championships.
You can help cheer on Team Canada by live streaming the event at www.cbcsports.ca.