Favourites make strong start at Canoe Polo World Championships

The U21 competition of the 2018 ICF Canoe Polo World Championships got underway in Welland, Canada, on Tuesday, with the favourites all performing up to expectation.

France, chasing their third U21 men's world title, beat Japan 5-1 and hosts Canada, 9-0, while defending champions Great Britain beat Ireland 6-0 and Switzerland 4-0.

Germany is chasing its fourth consecutive women’s U21 title, and began its campaign with an eight-nil win over Chinese Taipei.

France, hoping to breakthrough after two U21 silver medals, beat Spain 7-1, while three-time bronze medallists, New Zealand, beat Netherlands 4-2 and Argentina 37-0, the biggest margin of the day.

Dutch coach Menno Van Rooijen said he was happy with his team’s first day, after they fought back from 4-1 down to tie 4-all with Poland.

“It’s perfect, of course we wanted to win, but it’s nice to be able to come back from 4-1 to 4-4,” he said.

“This was our hardest day, with hard games to start with, so we are quite happy with how it ended.

“It’s a draw where we are playing a lot of teams that we regularly don’t see. And with U21, you never know how the teams are coming together.

“So I think we can be really happy about what the girls have done.”

Germany has won two bronze and a silver in the three U21 World Championships to date, and opened their 2018 campaign with a 6-3 win over Chinese Taipei and 10-0 win over Malaysia.

Coach Willi Franken believes his team is good enough to break through for gold in Welland.

“Our first match was not so fine, but the second was very good,” Franken said.

“We need some time to get to our best, so hopefully tomorrow will be a little bit better than today.

“I think this year it is possible for us to get the first place. This year we have three new players, and a very good team, so hopefully we can make it.”

The 2018 ICF Canoe Polo World Championships continues on Wednesday, with the first rounds of the senior competition.

New Zealand Canoe Polo World Championships Welland

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