Under an autumnal chilly weather that did not frighten loud supporters, Friday begins to see the semi-finals line-ups being decided in particular for both U21 categories, who have their finals and medal ceremonies on Saturday, while men and women categories are promising great denouements as expected.
In the Under 21 Men category, semi-finals are Germany versus Great-Britain and France versus New-Zealand with both Germany and France unbeaten in their respective groups. These look to be the favorites to reach the Finals but it is certain Great Britain and New Zealand will have other ideas.
In this category France scored the most goals (23) and finish with a goal difference of +14 while Germany in the other group scored 21 with a goal difference of +16. Credit is due to New Zealand who in their first World Championships have reached the semi-finals and who will prove a serious threat to France. Germany versus Great Britain is an old rivalry set to continue tomorrow.
Japan, Spain, Italy and Denmark will fight to decide their ranking in the top 8.
In the Women’s category, both semi-finals see a Europe-Oceania contest. Great Britain top scorer in the category with 18 and a goal difference of +13 will face New Zealand who beat France 3-2 this morning. The other semi-final sees the ever present Germany against the green and gold of Australia. Hosts Poland found their group hard today but will play along with Netherlands, France, and Italy for the last World Games’ place and their top 8 world ranking position.
The Men’s top 12 battles have proved exceptionally close with the reigning World champions France just beating Spain 2-1 but dominating Great Britain 8-3 later during the day. Netherlands lost to Swizerland 3-5 but recovered later in the day to beat Sweden 6-5 although Sweden hit the bar in the last second. Denmark beat Great-Britain 4-3 in the morning but later lost to Germany in a tight game 3-2.
Australia Men with a strong team this year beat Belgium 6-3. The bronze medalists from the last World Games stunned Italy winning 3-2 late in the day with a goal in the last 6 seconds. With senior finals on Sunday there is still some way to go but France, Germany, Australia and Switzerland are unbeaten while Poland (who lost to Germany 6-9), Great Britain and Belgium have yet to win a game.
U21 Women semi-finals are Germany-Great Britain and New Zealand-France. Poland just miss out. Germany dominate the group scoring 64 goals finishing with a goal difference of +64. Can anybody beat them? Japan found it really tough, losing 25-0 to Great Britain, which is hard to any team to take.
The Internet broadcast has proven popular with organizers indicating 10.000 hits today and with television over the week-end exposure of Canoe Polo is increasing.
The Poznan World Championships will also serve as the qualification competition for the 2013 IWGA World Games which will be held in Colombia.
The top 5 Men and Women's teams will be invited to compete at next year’s World Games, and the highest placed women's team from the Americas will also qualify.