Canadian water polo teams show they mean business at Pan Am Games
The Canadian men’s and women’s water polo teams produced lopsided victories in their respective 2011 Pan Am Games tournament debuts on Sunday.
This is the biggest tournament of the year for both squads. The gold medallists in both men’s and women’s competition earn a ticket to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
In the women’s tournament, Krystina Alogbo of Riviere-des-Prairies, Que., scored six goals as Canada bombed Venezuela 23-2. Nine of the 13 Canadian players put their names on the scoresheet.
Joelle Békhazi of Pointe-Claire, Que., added four, Rosanna Tomiuk of Beaconsfield, Que., Marina Radu of Pointe-Claire and Monika Eggens of Maple Ridge, B.C., each had three goals, with singles to Emily Csikos of Calgary, Dominique Perreault of Montreal, Katrina Monton of Dorval, Que., and Christine Robinson of Lachine.
Rachel Riddell of Victoria tended goal for Canada which led 11-1 at the half.
“This is the start we were after,’’ said Canada’s head coach Patrick Oaten. ‘’The team played well and with a lot of focus and intensity. We are taking it one game at a time and will need to come out strong again tomorrow against Brazil.”
Brazil defeated Mexico 8-5 in the other Group A match. In Group B, the U.S., pounded Argentina 20-0 and Cuba edged Puerto Rico 13-12.
On the men’s side, Canada built a 9-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 16-4 victory over Mexico.
Kevin Graham of Regina led the Canadian attack with four goals, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari of Repentigny, Que., and Devon Diggle of Montreal added three each, Jared McElroy of Calgary had two with singles to Constantine Kudaba of Port Coquitlam, B.C., Justin Boyd of Beaconsfield, John Conway of Ottawa and Aaron Feltham of Lindsay, Ont.
" We were nervous at start,’’ said Feltham, the team captain. ‘’But we are happy that we were able to eventually relax, especially in front of that crowd. When you play the first game of a championship, you never know how it's gonna be."
It was Canada’s first match against Mexico since the 2007 Pan Am Games.
In the other Group A match, Cuba edged Colombia 12-11. In Group B, Brazil beat Argentina 10-8 and the U.S., trounced Venezuela 16-3.
Round robin action continues Monday. Canada faces Brazil in women’s play while for the men Canada meets Cuba.
Canadian men’s water polo team for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara :
1. Robin Randall (Goalie) – Drinkwater, SK
3. Oliver Vikalo – Calgary, AB
2. Constantin Kudaba – Port Coquitlam, BC
4. Nicolas Constantin-Bicari – Repentigny, QC
5. Justin Boyd – Beaconsfield, QC
6. Scott Robinson – Calgary, AB
7. John Conway – Ottawa, ON
8. Kevin Graham – Regina, SK
9. Aaron Feltham (Team Captain) – Lindsay, ON
10. Dusko Dakic – Gatineau, QC
11. Devon Diggle – Montreal, QC
12. Jared McElroy – Calgary, AB
13. Dusan Aleksic (Goalie) – Gatineau, QC
Head Coach: Dragan Jovanovic – Calgary, AB
Ass Coach: Aleksandar Beslin – Calgary, AB
Ass Coach: Andrew Muir – Calgary, AB
Manager: Bill Meyer – Calgary, AB
Video Technician: Alexandre Thibault – Montreal, QC
Canadian women’s water polo team for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara:
1. Rachel Riddell (Goalie) – Victoria, BC
2. Krystina Alogbo (Team Captain) – Rivière des Prairie, QC
3. Katrina Monton – Dorval, QC
4. Emily Csikos – Calgary, Alberta
5. Joëlle Békhazi, Pointe-Claire, QC
6. Whitney Genoway – Regina, SK
7. Rosanna Tomiuk – Beaconsfield, QC
8. Dominique Perreault – Montreal, QC
9. Monika Eggens – Maple Ridge, BC
10. Christine Robinson – Lachine, QC
11. Tara Campbell – Baie D’Urfé, QC
12. Marina Radu – Pointe-Claire, QC
13. Anna Yelizarova – Montreal, QC
Head Coach: Pat Oaten – Pointe-Claire, QC
Ass Coach: Dan Berthelette – Montreal, QC
Ass Coach: Justin Oliveira – Pointe-Claire, QC
Ass Coach: Gyula Toth – Calgary, AB
Manager: Jon Clarke – Beaconsfield, QC