Canada Sweeps Men’s, Women’s Water Polo Titles at FINA World Champs Qualifier

CALGARY, Canada, February 4. BOTH the Canadian men's and women's water polo teams completed perfect runs on Sunday for gold at the UANA world championship qualifying tournament.

Canada had already clinched berths for the 2013 FINA World Aquatic Championships with semifinal victories on Saturday and capped the tournament winning Sunday's finals for 5-0 records in tournament play.

In the men's final, Canada built a 4-0 lead and held on for a 6-5 victory over the U.S. Less than 24 hours earlier, the Canadians had defeated Brazil 7-6 in overtime in the semifinal to secure the world championship berth.

Justin Boyd of Beaconsfield, Que., scored three more goals on Sunday to lead the Canadians. Nicolas Constantin-Bicari of Montreal, Kevin Graham of Regina and Jared McElroy of Calgary added singles. Canada led 4-1 at the half and 6-4 after three.

''The key to our game today and the whole tournament was our continuous will to fight,'' said Canadian assistant coach Brian Parillo. ''Today we definitely missed some key offensive opportunities but we were really proud of our defensive play.''

In the bronze medal game, Brazil defeated Argentina 10-6.

Boyd, who scored four goals including the overtime winner in Saturday's semi, was named the tournament MVP and Marcelo Chagas of Brazil the most valuable goaltender.

In the women's final, Canada scored six unanswered goals in the second half to defeat Brazil 11-6. Canada led 2-1 after a quarter, 5-4 at the half and 7-5 after three.

Joelle B?khazi of Pointe-Claire, Que., scored four goals, Emma Wright added two with singles to Krystina Alogbo of Riviere-des-Prairies, Que., Rachel Krieger of Regina, Carmen Eggens of Pitt Meadows, B.C., Christine Robinson of Lachine, Que., and Marina Radu of Pointe-Claire.

''This was a great tournament for us,'' said Guy Baker, celebrating his first official tournament win as Team Canada's head coach. ''We were able to play a lot of young players and we showed that we have a lot of depth. While our offensive execution was a bit off today we had a nice defensive showing.''

Venezuela upset Argentina 6-5 for the bronze.

B?khazi, who also had two five-goal games this week, was named the tournament MVP and Manuela Canetti of Brazil the most valuable goaltender.

The top-two teams this week qualified for the 2013 FINA World Aquatic Championships set for July in Barcelona.

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