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Team Canada celebrates its win over Brazil in the women's water polo semi-final at the Pan American Games on Friday. The victory secured a berth for the team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.Dave Holland/The Canadian Press

The Canadian women’s water polo team has secured a berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Canada booked its first Summer Games ticket since 2004 after the semi-finals of the Pan American Games on Friday.

A 19-5 win over Brazil combined with the United States’ 31-7 victory over Cuba gave Canada the spot.

An Olympic spot was reserved for the Pan Am winner, but Canada got it because the U.S. had already locked up its Olympic berth by winning the 2019 FINA World League.

“Honestly, words can’t really express what I feel,” said Canada’s Joelle Bekhazi, who had three goals against Brazil.

“It’s been a really long road and we worked really hard.”

Montreal’s Axelle Crevier led Canada with four goals against Brazil.

“It means so much to me. In my head, it’s eight years on hard work that we’ve all put together as a team,” said Canada captain Jessica Gaudreault.

“So to come out really strong and dominate in that game, it really meant a lot.”

Canada finished fourth at the most recent world championship in 2017.

Canada will face the Americans in the gold-medal game on Saturday.

The Canadian men’s team faced Brazil in a semi-final later Friday.

In softball, the Canadian women’s team upset the reigning world champion United States 3-2 in the semi-finals. Emma Enzminger, Jennifer Salling and Kaleigh Rafter drove in runs for Canada. Jenna Caira got the win in relief and Danielle Lawrie picked up the save. The U.S. will face Puerto Rico on Saturday for the right to play Canada in the final later in the day. The Olympic qualifier for the sport starts later this month in Surrey, B.C.

In rowing, Canadian rowers captured two gold medals on the second-last day of the competition. Jessica Sevick of Strathmore, Alta., won the women’s single sculls, while Kate Haber of Owen Sound, Ont., and Jaclyn Stelmaszyk of Uxbridge, Ont., took gold in the lightweight women’s double sculls. It was Saber’s second Pan Am gold in a race. “We both are coming back from having a child in 2017. It’s really cool to be able to come back from that and defend the title,” she said. “This is my first time away [from her child] and it’s like a little vacation. Now I’ve had really good sleep and I’m tapered and I have so much energy, it’s amazing.”

In archery, Canada’s Eric Peters upset world-record holder Brady Ellison of the United States in the men’s individual recurve quarterfinals. “I’m ecstatic,” the Ottawa native said. “That’s probably some of the best shooting that I’ve ever done and it’s right at the right time.” Peters will face Crispin Duenas of Toronto in an all-Canadian semi-final on Sunday. Duenas had bronchitis at the 2015 Pan Ams and lost his first match after winning silver at the past two Games.

In athletics, Vancouver’s Liz Gleadle won silver in the women’s javelin. Gleadle had a toss of 63.30 metres. American Kara Winger won at 64.92.

In fencing, Canada took bronze in the men’s foil and women’s sabre team competitions. Eli Schenkel, Maximilien van Haaster and Misha Sweet made up the men’s team, while Gabriella Page, Marissa Ponich and Pamela Brind’Amour formed the women’s team.

In sailing, Toronto’s Sarah Douglas took gold in the women’s dinghy race. Douglas beat out American Charlotte Rose and Argentina’s Lucia Falasca. Alex Heninzmann of Delta, B.C., and Justin Barnes of Pickering, Ont., won a bronze medal in the men’s skiff race.

Five Canadian athletes/teams to watch on Saturday

GENEVIEVE LALONDE (TRACK AND FIELD): The native of Moncton competes in the women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase. She won the Canadian championship last month.

MEN’S FIELD HOCKEY TEAM: Canada goes for gold and a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when it faces Argentina.

KOREY JARVIS (WRESTLING): The native of Elliot Lake, Ont., finished eighth in the 125-kilogram class at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

MARY PARSONS (GOLF): The native of Delta, B.C., is three shots off the lead at the halfway mark.

LUKE RAMSAY (SAILING): The Vancouver native won silver at the 2015 Pan Am Games. He’s second in the open dinghy division entering the final day.

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