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Canada reaches round of 16 in women's world water polo championship

Water Polo Canada Water Polo Canada - The Canadian Press

FUKUOKA, Japan — Canada's women's water polo team advanced to the round of 16 at the world championship with a 17-12 victory Thursday over host Japan.

Canada meets South Africa on Saturday in Fukuoka with the victor advancing to the quarterfinals.

The Canadians capped pool play with a 2-1 record in Group D to finish second behind Hungary (3-0).

Montreal's Elyse Lemay-Lavoie led Canada with five goals and Montreal's Axelle Crevier contributed four to the victory.

Hayley McKelvey of North Delta., B.C., scored three times and Emma Wright of Whitby, Ont., twice.

Serena Browne of Pointe-Claire, Que.; Kindred Paul of Spruce Grove, Alta.; and Winnipeg's Shae La Roche each contributed singles.

The Canadian women outscored Japan 5-1 in the opening quarter and 12-11 over the remaining three.

"Couldn't ask for a better start," Canada's head coach Dave Paredelo said. "One hundred per cent according to game plan."

Canada's men (1-1) faces France on Friday in their final preliminary-round match.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2023.