Action continued today at the ICF Canoe Polo World Championships in Welland in Canada ©ICF/Eric Vignet

Germany's men overcame the tragedy of the sudden death of team member Fiete Junge on the eve of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Polo World Championships to win their opening two matches of the event today in Welland. 

The Germans started the day by beating hosts Canada 5-2 in windy conditions at the Welland International Flatwater Centre.

They then defeated The Netherlands 5-0 in their second game of the day.             

"He (Junge) is all around us, all the time, and we are speaking about this," Germany’s coach Bjorn Zirotzki said.

"It is sometimes difficult to concentrate on the game because there are much more important things in the world than canoe polo, and this is like this.

"But we are trying to do our best here and we have him in our heart.

"We are a team and he is a member of our team.

"We want to do it as a team and he is still a team member.

"It's not for him, it is for all of us."

There were also strong performances from the German women's team and their men's and women's under-21 teams, all of which remain undefeated after two days of competition.

The German women had a 9-1 win over Chinese Taipei and an 8-0 triumph against Spain.

In the men's competition, Spain also enjoyed a strong day with a 7-1 win over the United States and an 8-4 victory against Chinese Taipei.

"It's very important to start the Championships winning," Spain's coach George Perez Perez said.

"We've worked a lot this year for a great result, so I hope we can get to the semi-finals.

"After that, you never know.

"I think the big teams here are Germany, Italy and France."

New Zealand beat Switzerland 4-1 in the women's competition ©ICF/Eric Vignet
New Zealand beat Switzerland 4-1 in the women's competition ©ICF/Eric Vignet

There were good days in the women's competition for Great Britain and New Zealand, with the former beating Australia 17-0 and the latter defeating Sweden 7-1 and Switzerland 4-1, as well as Italy, who posted a 10-0 win over Japan and 4-0 victory against Singapore.

"I'm very happy, the girls were very nervous," Italy's coach Francesca Ciancio said.

"I'm expecting that the team will do well at this tournament and that they can win a medal.

"The girls were very young at the last World Championships and they have grown up since then."

China is the only country making its debut in Welland, and while the women's team lost 4-2 to Japan and 19-3 to The Netherlands, coach Francois Barbey said it was a memorable experience for everyone.

The team had only had a limited preparation because six of the 10 team members competed in the ICF Under-23 Canoe Slalom Championships in Ivrea in Italy last month.

Due to visa delays, the team only arrived in Welland on the day competition began.

"This is the beginning for China and it is really important not just for China, but also for canoe polo," Barbey said.

"We were very late to get here, but in China it is no problem, they always find a solution.

"We arrived on Monday (July 30).

"We thought we would have all 10 members of the team together for four days, but it turned out to be one day.

"4-2 for me is okay, it is not 20-0.

"My focus is the beginning, I want the girls to have a good World Championships, so if we continue like this I will be pretty okay."

The only competition in which pool play is complete is the men’s under-21, with Britain, Germany, Poland and France all heading their groups.

The ICF Canoe Polo World Championships are due to continue tomorrow.