Canada’s Julie Kozun racked up points for her team, but it wouldn’t be enough to push the Canadians into the gold medal game in women’s sitting volleyball.
The semi-final game saw China sweep Canada away in straight sets.
While the Canadians won’t be on top of the podium, they still have a chance for a medal as they head into the bronze medal game against a tough opponent – Brazil.
“If you had told me that we would play for a medal after just making our last-ditch qualifier last year (February 2020), I don’t think I would have believed you,” said the captain of the Danielle Ellis team.
The Canadians arrived in Tokyo as the number five team in the world and have shown great improvement since placing seventh overall in Rio in 2016.
“This team has grown tremendously over the past two years and we are ready to compete for a medal,” said Ellis.
Canada fought a fierce battle against the number two ranked Chinese, but ultimately couldn’t come away with a single set and the match ended in just over an hour.
Top forwards Ellis and Heidi Peters continuously returned the ball to China, but each only succeeded in five of their attacks.
Defensively, blocking Canada could also have required a bit of work, with just four of their attempts against the Chinese.
The Chinese will face the United States’ first team in the gold medal match in a rematch of the 2016 final, in which the Americans took first place.
While the Canadians may not have been successful in their game against China, the tournament surely helped draw the attention of the international community to them.
It’s the furthest the women’s sitting volleyball team has ever reached at the Paralympic Games since the sport was inducted into the Games in 1980.
The Canadians weren’t the favorites to win the tournament, nor even expected them to make it this far, but as the last Canadian team at the Paralympic Games, they made an impression.
After back-to-back wins in the tournament, beating Italy and Japan, Canada went on to face the reigning bronze medalists Brazil.
In a game of nearly three hours, Canada ultimately lost to Brazil in the preliminaries.
Canada will face Brazil for the bronze medal on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. JST, 3:30 a.m. EST.