With their Olympic dreams on the line, the Canadian women’s water polo team was looking to get off to a good start at the World Aquatics Championships.
They couldn’t have hoped for a better result in their opening match, breezing to a 24-2 victory over South Africa on Sunday in Doha.
Axelle Crevier, Emma Wright, and Elyse Lemay-Lavoie each had five goals in the blowout win.
The Canadians jumped out to a 6-0 lead by the end of the first quarter, scoring in six of eight shots on goal while their stout defence turned away all five shots by the South Africans.
Canada added three more goals to take a 9-0 lead into halftime.
South Africa didn’t get on the board until 3:50 remaining in the third quarter, when they scored to make it a 12-1 game.
Just 2 Olympic spots available
Two Olympic spots are up for grabs in Doha as half of the 16 women’s teams competing have already locked up their berths for Paris, so Canada needs to be one of the top two finishers of those yet to qualify to book their Olympic ticket.
Going by world rankings and recent results, it’ll be a three-way battle for those two spots between Canada, Italy, and Hungary.
The Canadians are slotted in Group D along with the Italians, who scored a 22-10 win over Great Britain earlier in the day.
Canada and Italy will meet on Thursday.
WATCH | Canada vs. South Africa at World Aquatics Championships:
The top team in each of the four groups advances directly to the quarterfinals, while the runner-up goes to a one-game playoff for a spot in the quarters.
CBC Sports will live stream action from the World Aquatics Championships on CBC Gem, the CBC Sports app, and on CBCSports.ca. Click here for the full broadcast schedule from Doha.
Canadian roster for the world aquatic championships 2024 Doha:
- Verica Bakoc — Toronto
- Serena Browne — Pointe-Claire, Que.
- Floranne Carroll — Montreal
- Axelle Crevier — Montréal
- Jessica Gaudreault — Ottawa
- Daphné Guèvremont — Montreal
- Shae La Roche — Winnipeg
- Rae Lekness — Calgary
- Elyse Lemay-Lavoie — Calgary
- Blaire McDowell — Fernie, B.C.
- Maria Eleni Mimides — Glyfada, GRE, & Toronto
- Hayley McKelvey — North Delta, B.C.
- Kindred Paul — Spruce Grove, Alta.
- Clara Vulpisi — Montreal
- Emma Wright — Whitby, Ont.
- Lucy Davis (alternate) — Port Moody, B.C.