The top three positions are locked away but the race for the final semi-final place in the U21 women’s competition remains wide open with one match to play at the ICF Canoe Polo World Championships in St-Omer, France.

Undefeated New Zealand, defending champions Germany and host nation France are firmly ensconced in the top three places, but technically all the remaining teams could still make this weekend’s semi-finals.

The last position could well go to the winner of the match between Spain and Netherlands. Great Britain, who currently sit in fourth position, face a tough final assignment against ladder leaders New Zealand.

Spain currently sits fifth, one place behind Great Britain, while Poland kept its slim hopes of a top-four finish alive with a 3-1 win against Italy. But the Polish, who suffered a setback before the event even started when several of their players were involved in a car accident, face Germany on Saturday morning.

Those in the accident have all played this week, and Hanna Sojka said the team has had to put the drama behind them. She said the 3-1 win would be a great lift for the young team.

“We came together as a team, we gained some strength from our previous losses and we were best. It was a good match,” Sojka said.

“Everybody had to go through their own battles after the accident, but this didn’t stop us.”

“There’s always a possibility (pf making the semi-finals), but right now we just have to focus and prepare ourselves both mentally and physically for this match because it won’t be easy.

“Every match we are taking something away, we process it and we try to put it back in the next match, but even better.”

In other games Friday, New Zealand had a comfortable 7-1 victory over Spain, Germany were 7-2 winners against Netherlands, and France beat Great Britain 3-1.

Pics by Balint Vekassy

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