Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games top scoring leader Heidi Peters of Canada was limited to score only five points by Rio 2016 silver medallists China in their semifinal encounter at Makuhari Messe Hall on Friday.
Canada conceded the semifinal match to the Asian champions in straight sets (25-18, 25-20, 25-15) and will be relegated to play the bronze medal match.
“I’m feeling simultaneously disappointed and proud, and that’s a weird space to live in,” said Peters on the result of the match with China.
“We already made history for our programme when we achieved our personal team goal of making top four.
“But you feel like you could have gave a little more, or minimise some errors and close that gap, so that’s a really hard space. I’m proud of us, but I feel like it’s over really fast. I just want to go back out there again because it’s not every day you get to play the number one team in the world.”
In the bronze medal match on Saturday at 16.30 local time, the Canadians will be facing the Brazilians, who lost to the United States 3-0 in the other semifinal encounter. These two squads faced each other on the opening day of the sitting volleyball competition, when the South Americans prevailed 17-15 in the thrilling tiebreaker.
The 26-year-old Canadian outside hitter pointed out that the emotions would be pushed to the extremes with the bronze medal at stake when they face again the Brazilians and they must prepare for that.
“We’re preparing just by focusing on the process. We did that in that game at the end of our fourth set with Brazil, just one point at a time. Tomorrow is going to be 10 times as many feelings with a medal on the line, so it’s going to be that much more important to just take every point and learn through the match,” Peters said.
“They are a volleyball nation, they’re so fiery and so passionate, so we just have to bring that energy to the match and do what we did against Italy: bring that that heat right off the bat.”
For their preparation, Peters and the team will be choosing to get the calm before the storm.
“We’ll do team yoga led by one of our assistant coaches. We just want it to be a little more like restorative, so there’s a lot of seated and laying poses, a lot of downward dog flow,” Peters said.
“It’s really grounding. It goes with our theme of trust the process and stay in the moment.”