Host nation France and World Games bronze medalists New Zealand loom as the major roadblocks to Germany winning an incredible seventh women’s canoe polo world title this weekend.

The Germans and New Zealand are the only two teams yet to lose a match in St-Omer this week, while a draw with Netherlands was the only blemish for World Games champions France.

Germany and France currently sit in the top two spots in Group A, and are scheduled to meet on Sunday morning, just hours before the finals. New Zealand is clear at the top of Group B on six points, with Great Britain and Netherlands both locked on four points.

The Dutch drew with Great Britain, before beating arch-rivals Italy 4-3 to put themselves in with a good chance of making the semi-finals. Captain Charlotte Bakkes said the three points against Italy could be a game-changer.

“It was a very important win, these are very important points,” Bakkes said.

“We always end up in the 4-6 placings, and it’s always because we are not really used to playing finals and semi-finals. I think we can show we are supposed to be there as well, and I think a game like this actually shows us we can be in those semi-finals.

“We’ve got another three games, so we don’t know yet. We’ll just keep on playing, and if we have the level of this game we can definitely get closer to the semis.”

Singapore is hoping to finish top eight this week. While they currently sit at the foot of Group A, their two games have been against Germany and France and captain Li Ling Tan is hoping for an easier ride in the final three games.

“We expected it to be tough, we tried to prepare for it, but we’ll definitely go back and watch the game again and see where we can improve,” Tan said.

“We’re doing okay, but I won’t say we are in the best of form. We are just trying to improve on each game. We are making some mistakes, but at least we are not committing the same mistakes so we are learning from each game.

“We are trying to improve our ranking, especially for teams in Asia. We’ve always been trying to put ourselves high enough on the ranking board so that people notice Asian teams. Hopefully we can squeeze into the top eight.”

The playoffs for positions 13-16 will feature Sweden, Ireland, Japan and Hong Kong.

Pics by Balint Vekassy

Italy Netherlands polo women St Omer 2022

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