Canada Cuts Down Roster for their Quest for Olympic Berth

Canada feels that they are closer than ever to landing an Olympic berth and have now trimmed their roster as they jump start a tougher part of their preparation for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament next month in Ankara, Turkey.

The Canadian squad cut their preliminary roster to 16 players in time for their scheduled friendly games with Olympic qualifier China in the Jack Donohue International Classic starting today up to the 18th of May.

Their series of friendly games against the Asian powerhouse is a part of their preparation for the upcoming stint in the OQT in Ankara, where they were drawn in Group D along with France and Mali.

A victory against either France or Mali will propel them to the Quarterfinals where another victory would give them a ticket to London.

A loss in the quarterfinals won’t end their chances to clinch an Olympic berth because they will be pitted against the three other losers in the quarterfinals for the right to take the fifth and final spot for the 2012 London Olympics at stake in Ankara.

Kim Smith, who is one of the veterans selected in the 16-player preliminary roster, feels that with the talent and preparation they have, they will be having their best chance of clinching a spot in the Olympics.

“To not have been to an Olympics yet has been heartbreaking,” Smith said. “But to be honest, we didn’t have the talent in the past. This year feels different. It’s definitely the best team we’ve had since I’ve been here. It’s nice to go out on the court and know you have a chance to win.”

Canada Preliminary Squad for 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament

  • Natalie Achonwa
  • Chelsea Aubry
  • Miranda Ayim
  • Janelle Bekkering
  • Krysten Boogaard
  • Teresa Gabriele
  • Lizanne Murphy
  • Krista Phillips
  • Courtnay Pilypaitis
  • Megan Pinske
  • Michelle Plouffe
  • Kendel Ross
  • Kim Smith
  • Alisha Tatham
  • Tamara Tatham
  • Shona Thorburn

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