Photo: OIS/Simon Bruty
Brazil won the bronze medal in women’s sitting volleyball at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, following their win over Canada 3-1 at Makuhari Messe Hall. Edwarda de Oliveira Dias or Duda quickly became one of the key players in the arsenal of the Brazilian squad.
It was the second Brazilian bronze medal in the tournament and also the second for Edwarda, who was at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
“I’m very happy, I can’t explain how it feels to be able to represent your country and get out of here with a medal, knowing that you are among the best teams in the world,” Edwarda said.
Before the women’s team entered the court, their men’s team also played in the bronze medal match but conceded to two-time gold medallists Bosnia and Herzegovina in four sets. For her, the result of the men’s team did not give them pressure to win, but it motivated them to succeed instead.
“It gave us much more motivation and afterwards they were all there cheering for us,” she said.
But Edwarda knew that it was no easy task for her team to beat Canada, after their thriller tie-break encounter in the preliminary round that they won by a slim 17-15 margin. And the only way to show it is by turning up and playing with Brazilian flair.
“It was a more relaxed game than our previous one against them. We could play better, loosen up better and play at our own pace to come out as winners,” said the 22-year-old.
“We knew that their team has developed a lot but we gave it all on the court and I think that is the Brazilian spirit. We showed that Brazil is about joy, we played with a lot of happiness and brought home that bronze.
“We let our inner child out.”
Edwarda shared the difference from winning bronze at their home Games in Rio.
“It’s always a new experience and feeling. We have to live for now and for us it is really important to be able to retain this title for Brazil.”