Canada arrives in Tianjin before group matches

Canada’s women’s football team has left Beijing for Tianjin where it will play its first two matches in the 2008 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. Canada will have several days of training in Tianjin before opening the tournament on 6 August against South American nation Argentina. Canada will then play tournament host China three days later on 9 August.



“The two-and-a-half days that we spent in the Olympic village were indeed a useful experience for our athletes as well as our staff,” says coach Even Pellerud. “This huge event (the Olympics) has its logistic challenges and most of them are by now sorted out. This gives us the ability to change focus to entirely devote all of our energy on Tianjin and our first two group matches.”

Canada’s women’s football team has left Beijing for Tianjin where it will play its first two matches in the 2008 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. Canada will have several days of training in Tianjin before opening the tournament on 6 August against South American nation Argentina. Canada will then play tournament host China three days later on 9 August.



“The two-and-a-half days that we spent in the Olympic village were indeed a useful experience for our athletes as well as our staff,” says coach Even Pellerud. “This huge event (the Olympics) has its logistic challenges and most of them are by now sorted out. This gives us the ability to change focus to entirely devote all of our energy on Tianjin and our first two group matches.”



Canada arrived in Tianjin on 2 August and had its first training session that same day. Canada will play its two matches in Tianjin at the Tianjin Olympic Sports Center Stadium.



“The bus trip to Tianjin was uncomplicated,” says Pellerud. “So too were our arrival formalities at the hotel. We were warmly welcomed by an overwhelmingly sized staff and we have since settled in nicely.”



Canada has less than a week of preparations left before it takes on Argentina in the tournament opener. Canada has already faced Argentina once this season, a Canadian 5:0 victory on 14 June at the Peace Queen Cup.



“We are now having one or two training sessions a day,” says Pellerud. “The players are focused, but in a calm way.”



The Women’s Olympic Football Tournament runs 6-21 August. Canada plays Argentina (6 August), China (9 August) and Sweden (12 August) in the opening round. Should Canada finish amongst the top-eight teams in the 12-team opening round (three groups of four), it will advance to the 15 August quarter-finals. While Canada is up against some tough competition, the team is relaxed and ready for the road ahead.



“Time flies quickly (before the opening match) due to meals, treatments, meetings, rest,” says Pellerud. “Every evening, we finish off the day with short presentations/speeches and tons of good laughs!”

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