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Water polo tournament draw for FINA’s Barcelona 2013 reignites old rivalries

Ottawa, February 24, 2013 – The Canadian men’s and women’s water polo teams have received their list of opponents for the first portion of the FINA World Aquatics Championships, which kicks off on July 19 in Barcelona, Spain. The Canadian men will be facing Olympic gold medalist Croatia, as well as the United States and South Africa. The women have also been matched with the Americans in addition to Greece and Great Britain. The Canadian men’s team is heading into the event ranked number one out of the Americas following their sweep of the UANA Qualification Tournament in Calgary at the end of January.

With less than five months before opening ceremonies, the Canadian teams are prepared to face some tough rivals, including a much-anticipated rematch with the American men’s team, who fell to Team Canada for the first time in decades at an official event just last month in Calgary.

Asked to give his take on the announced matchups, the men’s high performance director, Dragan Jovanovic, said: “This draw has actually resulted in pretty evenly strong groups. It will be interesting to see what type of adjustments the Americans make in their team and coaching after last month’s results against us. The Croatians have their medal from the London Olympics but, truly, all the teams in our group are able to show a really high level of competition. We’ll have to see how things go once teams start to play crossover.”

“We are pleased with the draw. This seems like a good group for us to start the competition with,” said Pat Oaten, high performance director for the women’s team. “Facing Olympic champions like the Americans, and with Greece being the last World Champions, it will be a good challenge and we are confident we can do well.”
The draft, chaired by FINA president Dr. Julio C. Maglione, was held on Sunday, February 24 at 12:00 (GMT+1) and was broadcast live on Spanish station TV Espanola.

The full draw went as follows:

Group A: Montenegro, Spain, Greece and New Zealand
Group B: Croatia, Canada, United States and South Africa
Group C: Serbia, Hungary, Australia and China
Group D: Italy, Germany, Romania and Kazakhstan

Group A: Spain, Russia, Netherland and Uzbekistan
Group B: Australia, China, New Zealand and South Africa
Group C: United States, Canada, Greece and Great Britain
Group D: Hungary, Italy, Brazil and Kazakhstan

The 16 teams in each tournament will qualify for the knockout stage where the first and fourth and the second and third positions of each group will be matched in crossover games between the groups. The women’s water polo final is to be played at Palau Sant Jordi, the outdoor 1992 Olympic venue on August 2, 2013. The men’s final follows on August 3.

Also announced yesterday, were the draws for the 2013 FINA World Junior Water Polo Championships, to be held in Szombathely (HUN – Men, August 12-18) and in Volos (GRE– Women, August 18-24). Click below for more details of the junior draw on the FINA website:




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