Excitement builds ahead of 2018 Canoe Polo World Championships

The 2018 ICF Canoe Polo World Championships kick off on Tuesday in Welland, with teams from all over the planet assembling in the Canadian city for what is certain to be a hotly contested affair.

Nations will fight for senior men’s and women’s as well as U21 titles, with Germany determined to finally break through in the men’s competition after five silver medals.

The Germans won both the men’s and women’s gold medals at last year’s World Games in Wroclaw, Poland, and will be looking to redeem themselves in the senior men’s competition after failing to medal at the 2016 World Championships in Italy.

On that occasion it was the home nation that took the gold, and the Italians are once again expected to be contenders this week.

New Zealand beat Germany in the women’s final in 2016, and along with Oceania neighbours Australia will be keen to make an impact against the powerful Europeans in Welland.

But the German women have won the senior competition on five occasions, and have not finished worse than silver since the 2000 World Championships in Brazil.

In the U21 competition, Germany has not lost a title in the women’s competition since the first world titles in 2012. The men’s titles have been split between France, with two gold, and the United Kingdom.

Germany heads the all-time overall medal tally, with eight gold medals since the first World Championships were staged in Sheffield, UK, in 1994.

Great Britain has seven gold medals and France and Australia five each.

23 teams will contest the men’s competition, including squads from Namibia, Iran, Argentina and Singapore, while China and Sweden are among the 19 women’s teams competing.

Malaysia and Ireland are included in the 16 teams competing in the men’s U21, while ten teams will contest the women’s U21.

Teams in all competitions will be split into groups and play a round-robin format, with the finals set down for next Sunday.

The first matches will begin in Welland on Tuesday, with a full day of U21 competition.

It’s the second time the World Championships have been held in Canada, after Edmonton hosted the event in 2008.

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