Canadians and Americans Will Meet in Both Women’s and Men’s Pan American Water Polo Final

Lima, Tuesday, August 6, 2019 -Milan Radenovic from Canada during the Men's Group A Preliminary Waterpolo match against Cuba at Villa María del Triunfo during Pan American Games Lima 2019. Copyright Paul Vallejos / Lima 2019 Mandatory credits: Lima 2019 NO SALES NO ARCHIVES **
Milan Radenovic comes up big in the Canadian cage in a semifinal won over Brazil at the 2019 Pan American Games. Photo Courtesy: Paul Vallejos / Lima 2019

LIMA, PERU. Saturday at the Villa Maria del Triunfo Aquatics Complex, the American and Canadian men’s and women’s water polo teams will meet for gold in both finals at the 2019 Pan American Games. The American women handily beat Cuba 31-7 in a semifinal match-up behind five goals from Makenzie Fischer. They will face Canada, a 19-5 winner over Cuba in the other semifinal.

pan_american_logo.svgThe prize here in Lima for the Pan Am finals winners is not merely gold; a berth in the water polo tournament at the 2020 Olympics is also available for the taking. Thanks to a FINA World League Super Final title in June, the USA women have already qualified for the Tokyo Games. By virtue of advancing to the title match, the Canada women have punched their ticket to the Olympics for the first time since 2012. The women’s final will take place on Saturday at 1:30pm (EST).

The Canadian men also advanced to the final, coming from a goal down with less than two minutes left to beat Brazil in their semifinal match-up. After bursting out to a 3-goal lead by hitting on their first three shots, the Canadians fell behind late on a score by Pedro Real. Canada rallied with late goals from Aleksa Gardijan and Nicolas Constantin-Bicari to overcome Brazil and veteran goalie Slobodan Soro by the score of 8-7.

They will meet the American men, 17-1 winners over Argentina, in the final at 8:30pm (EST). Team USA got seven goals from Johnny Hooper to rout the Argentinians and advance to a seventeenth-straight Pan Ams final. Unlike the women’s bracket, only the winner of this match will qualify for the 2020 Olympics; the loser will need to find another path to Tokyo.

In the bronze medal matches, Brazil will look to take down Cuba in the women’s half of the bracket, while the Argentine men will see if they can reverse an earlier Group B loss to Brazil and return home with hardware.