The Canadian Water Polo Federation has announced the players who will represent the Maples at the World Championships in Fukuoka in two weeks.
The women’s team will take 15 players to Japan, while the men’s team will take one less with 14. Both Canadian teams are the reigning Pan American Champions, but neither is really in the conversation for a medal in Fukuoka.
The Canadian women’s team, led by long-time coach David Paradelo, will be the more competitive of the two sides. Nine of the Maples played with some of Europe’s best clubs last season. Canada has medaled four times in World Championships history (2 silver medals – 1991 & 2009, 2 bronze medals – 2001 & 2005). They finished 4th in 2017, but a top-eight finish has eluded them in the past two outings in Gwangju and Budapest.
Canada, however, will be without arguably their best player, Olympiacos’ Kyra Christmas, whose reason for absence from the squad is not yet clear.
Pat Oaten, the Brazilian women’s national team coach for the 2016 Olympic Games, heads up the men’s team, which features former Fradi and Brescia center Nicolas Constantin Bicari, and one of the best players in the USA last season, Reuel D’Souza.
Canada, whose best-ever finish was 8th back in 2009, will be pleased to return to elite-level competition after their World Championships were cut short last year in Budapest because of a COVID outbreak in the team.
Canada Women’s Roster for World Championships, Fukuoka.
Verica Bakoc (Mediterrani), Serena Browne (Stanford), Floranne Carrol (Stanford), Axelle Crevier (Mediterrani), Jessica Gaudreault (Tenerife Echeyde), Daphne Guevremont (Fresno State Bulldogs), Rachael Jaffe (Toronto Blues), Shae La Roche, Elyse Lemay-Lavoie (Sant Andreu), Blaire McDowell (Tenerife Echeyde), Hayley Mckelvey (Plebiscito Padova), Maria Mimides (Vouliagmeni), Kindred Paul (Terrassa), Clara Vulipsi (Pacific), Emma Wright (Vouliagmeni)
Canada Men’s Roster for World Championships, Fukuoka.
Jeremie Blanchard, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Jeremie Cote (Pacific), Bogdan Djerkovic (Pacific), Reuel D’Souza (Pacific), Aleksa Gardijan (Glyfada), Nikos Gerakoudis, Leo Hachem, Matthew Halajian (Chios), David Lapins, Brody McKnight (Proleter Korcula), Gaelan Patterson, Milan Radenovic, Aria Soleimanipak (Chania)