The list of competitors at water polo tournament at the FINA World Championships in Budapest is complete. The last two spots are filled by Brazil and Canada as the finalists of the 2017 UANA (The Swimming Union of the Americas) cup in Trinidad & Tobago.
UANA Cup was the qualifying tournament for the Zone America. Four teams took part: Canada, Brazil, Argentina and the host Trinidad & Tobago. The best two teams secured places for the championships in Budapest.
Brazil beat Canada 6-5 in the gold medal match. Brazil, as UANA champions, will be seeded in the pot two for World Championships group stage draw, which will be held in Budapest on February 24th. Canada, silver medalist, will be in the pot three.
In the semi-finals, Canada, coached by famous Italian Pino Porzio, defeated Trinidad and Tobago easily (21-1), while Brazil was better than Argentina (11-5). As winners of the semi-finals, the Canadians and the Brazilians qualified automatically for the World Championships.
The spectators in the National Aquatic Centre in Couva, watched ten matches during five days of the tournament.
After the group stage games, Canada took the first place, Brazil was the second, Argentina was the third and Trinidad finished the fourth.
Home players were too weak for the rivals, and it was a chance for all other teams to improve their goal difference in the games played against Trinidad. The UANA CUP was a great opportunity for Trinidad to learn from better ones.
On the other hand, all the other games were really entertaining.
Brazil confirmed the role of the favorite and beat Argentina (9-3). In the second round, the Argentines surprised Canada (9-8).
The last match of the group stage, derby Brazil – Canada, determined the top three positions of the group. Canada won (8-4) and finished preliminary round at the first place, thanks to the best goal difference. Thus, they secured an easy job for the semi-final against Trinidad & Tobago. In the second semi-final, Brazil faced Argentina.
In the final game, Brazil got revenge for the defeat by Canada in the preliminary stage.
It should be mentioned that Brazil came in Trinidad & Tobago with a new coach, Angelo Coelho. He replaced Ratko Rudic, who returned to Croatia, after four years spent on the bench of the national team of Brazil.
2017 UANA Cup (February, 7- 11)
Canada – Trinidad & Tobago 35-1
Brazil – Argentina 9-3
Argentina – Canada 9-8
Brazil – Trinidad & Tobago 29-5
Brazil – Canada 4-8
Argentina – Trinidad & Tobago 19-2
Table: 1. Canada 6, 2. Brazil 6, 3. Argentina 6, 4. Trinidad & Tobago 0
Brazil – Argentina 11-5
Canada – Trinidad & Tobago 21-1
Bronze medal match
Argentina – Trinidad & Tobago 20-3
Brazil – Canada 6-5
4. Trinidad & Tobago
The draw for the group stage at the Championships in Budapest will be held on February 24th. In the first pot are Serbia (Olympic champion and World championship defenders), Croatia (silver medalists at the previous World championships in Kazan, and also Olympic silver medal winners), Italy (third at Games in Rio) and Montenegro (fourth in Rio).
Draw for the male tournament at FINA World Championships (17th – 29th July)
Pot 1: Serbia, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro.
Pot 2: USA, Hungary, Greece, Brazil
Pot 3: Canada, Spain, Russia, Australia
Pot 4: South Africa, Japan, Kazakhstan, France
Draw for the female tournament at FINA World Championships (16th – 28th July)
Pot 1: USA, Italy, Russia, Hungary.
Pot 2: Spain, Australia, Canada, Netherlands
Pot 3: Brazil, Greece, France, New Zealand.
Pot 4: South Africa, Japan, Kazakhstan, China.