OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport, in conjunction with Water Polo Canada, announced Tuesday the student-athletes and staff members who will represent the country in men’s water polo at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.
The Canadian men return to the biennial tournament after a one-game absence, their most recent result being a 13th-place finish in Belgrade, Serbia, in 2009. In 13 all-time appearances at the tourney, the Canucks have reached the quarter-finals on two occasions, finishing eighth in 1999 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and sixth in 1983 in Edmonton.
The roster heading to Kazan is comprised of goaltenders Milan Radenovic of Toronto and Daniel Sullivan of North Vancouver; centre guards Martin Pelland of Montreal and Connor Perry of Vancouver; drivers Marko Bjelica of Mississauga, Ont., Dusan Boskovic of Ottawa, Nikola Curcija of Calgary, Matija Dabic of Gatineau, Que., Eric Graham of Saskatoon, Nikola Mitrovic of Gatineau and Devon Thumwood of Calgary; as well as centres Oscar Henning of Calgary and David Lapins of Gatineau.
Radenovic and Mitrovic represented Canada at the 2011 world junior championships (14th place), while Pelland, Perry, Curcija, Graham, Thumwood, Henning and Lapins wore the Maple Leaf at the 2012 world youth championships (11th).
“We are a very young team, with guys coming from all over Canada. It will be a great experience for them,” said Team Canada head coach Michel Roy, who will take part in his fourth Universiade (1985, 1991, 1993, 2013). “Our goals at the competition are to get more experience, play more games, while driving for excellence and producing better athletes for the senior national team program.”
“We have been working very hard since the early days of June. We are putting the hours in and we are getting better as a team. Some of our key players participated with the Senior Program in a week-long camp with the Olympic bronze medallist team, Serbia. It will be very interesting to integrate those athletes and see the level of water polo they have acquired during that amazing experience of practicing with Serbia.”
The 12-team Kazan tournament is set for July 5 to 17.
In the preliminary round, Canada will face host Russia (July 5), Japan (July 7), Georgia (July 8), Hungary (July 10) and Australia (July 11) in Pool A.
The Russians claimed silver two years ago in Shenzhen, China, while the Australians captured gold in 2009. Hungary has won the competition three times, most recently in 2003.
Pool B is comprised of reigning Universiade champion Serbia, the United States, Italy, Brazil, Montenegro and Belgium.
“We are in a very experienced and very competitive group. Countries like Hungary, Russia and Australia are difficult to beat. Even Japan finished in the top seven recently in an international competition (World League Super Final), a first for them in decades,” said Roy. “It will be very competitive and a great experience for all our young athletes. Although we never know the athletes that each country will be sending at the FISU Games, we hope to do well and be competitive with every opponent and in every game we play.”
TEAM CANADA ROSTER
Position - Name - University - Hometown
Driver Marko Bjelica Toronto Mississauga, Ont.
Driver Dusan Boskovic Carleton Ottawa, Ont.
Driver Nikola Curcija Calgary Calgary, Alta.
Driver Matija Dabic Heritage College Gatineau, Que.
Driver Eric Graham University of Regina Saskatoon, Sask.
Centre Oscar Henning St. Mary’s U College Calgary, Alta.
Centre David Lapins Athabasca Gatineau, Que.
Driver Nikola Mitrovic Distance Education Gatineau, Que.
Centre Guard Martin Pelland Distance Education Montreal, Que.
Centre Guard Connor Perry BC Institute of Technology Vancouver, B.C.
Goalie Milan Radenovic Calgary Toronto, Ont.
Goalie Daniel Sullivan Calgary North Vancouver, B.C.
Driver Devon Thumwood Mount Royal Calgary, Alta.
Position - Name - Affiliation - Hometown
Head Coach Michel Roy Water Polo Canada Gatineau, Que.
Assistant Coach Robert Couillard - Blainville, Que.
Manager Sandra Lizé - Montreal, Que.
UNIVERSIADE POOLS & SCHEDULE:
Pool A: Russia, Japan, Hungary, Australia, CANADA, Georgia
Pool B: Serbia, USA, Italy, Brazil, Montenegro, Belgium
July 5: Canada vs. Russia
July 7: Canada vs. Japan
July 8: Canada vs. Georgia
July 10: Canada vs. Hungary
July 11: Canada vs. Australia
July 13: Quarter-finals
July 15: Semifinals
July 17: Final
CANADA’S ALL-TIME UNIVERSIADE RESULTS IN MEN’S WATER POLO:
2011 Shenzhen, China: Canada DNP (champions: Serbia)
2009 Belgrade, Serbia: 13th / 16 teams (champions: Australia)
2007 Bangkok, Thailand: Canada DNP (champions: Montenegro)
2005 Izmir, Turkey: Canada DNP (champions: Serbia & Montenegro)
2003 Daegu, South Korea: 13th (champions: Hungary)
2001 Beijing, China: 13th / 14 (champions: Italy)
1999 Palma, Spain: 8th / 15 (champions: Spain)
1997 Sicily, Italy: Canada DNP (champions: Italy)
1995 Fukuoka, Japan: 16th / 16 (champions: Yugoslavia)
1993 Buffalo, USA: 11th / 13 (champions: USA)
1991 Sheffield, England : 10th / 12 (champions: USA)
1989 Duisburg, Germany: No tournament -
1987 Zagreb, Yugoslavia: 10th / 14 (champions: Italy)
1985 Kobe, Japan: 9th / 11 (champions: USSR)
1983 Edmonton, Canada: 6th / 12 (champions: USSR)
1981 Bucharest, Romania: 9th / 11 (champions: Cuba)
1979 Mexico City, Mexico: 9th / 15 (champions: USA)
1977 Sofia, Bulgaria: 11th / 13 (champions: Romania)
1975 Rome, Italy: No tournament -
1973 Moscow, USSR: Canada DNP (champions: USSR)
1970 Turin, Italy: Canada DNP (champions: USSR)
1967 Tokyo, Japan: Canada DNP (champions: Japan)
1965 Budapest, Hungary: Canada DNP (champions: Hungary)
1963 Porto Alegre, Brazil: Canada DNP (champions: Hungary)
1961 Sofia, Bulgaria: Canada DNP (champions: Yugoslavia)
1959 Turin, Italy: Canada DNP (champions: Yugoslavia)
DNP: Did not participate
About the Summer Universiade
The Summer Universiade is an international multi-sport event that takes place every two years and is second only to the Olympic Games in the number of participating athletes and countries. The Universiade is open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
About Water Polo Canada (WPC)
Water Polo Canada is the National Sport Federation and governing
body for the sport of water polo in Canada. It manages the National
and Olympic Teams as well as the domestic development plan. For
further information, visit www.waterpolo.ca or follow us
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 55 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on: