Corin Metzger has returned home to Elmira after participating in the inaugural Women’s U25 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships held last week at Brock University. Canada finished fourth in the tournament, losing out to Great Britain 62-42 in the bronze medal match July 21.
She said that although Canada couldn’t claim a medal, it was an honour just to represent her country in the historical event.
“It was a disappointment for sure, I’m not going to say that it wasn’t, but we played our best and it was just unfortunate that we ended up losing,” she said. “We were the first athletes for Canada to ever play in that tournament, and although we did lose, we will always have that in our hearts.”
Canada actually opened the tournament by rattling off four straight wins to claim first-place in Pool B, including a 62-15 win over Russia in the opener on July 15, a close 65-52 win over Japan on July 16, a 60-47 win over Germany on July 17, and a 63-48 win over Mexico in the quarter-finals on July 19 to advance to the semi-finals against Australia on the 20th.
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Unfortunately, Canada fell short in that game, 60-47, and wound up losing to Great Britain the following day in the bronze medal match and for Metzger, the level of competition at the tournament was a whole new experience.
“It was very high-paced, especially since this is my first time playing at a higher level,” she said. “I was expecting it to be high paced, but it was certainly higher than I’ve ever been really used to.”
As the fourth-youngest player on the 12-player team, the 19-year-old didn’t see the floor as much as she probably would have liked. After logging 12:22 and sinking two baskets in the opening game against Russia, Metzger had zero minutes against Japan, a little over five minutes in the win over Germany, zero minutes against Mexico, and only 1:57 in the semi-final loss to the Australians, before closing out the tournament with 4:28 against Great Britain in the bronze medal game.
Metzger didn’t let the lack of playing time get her down, though, and took full advantage of the minimal time she was given.
“Even though I only got a few shifts here and there, I just had to go out there and give it my all and I felt that I achieved that,” she said, adding that the four points she registered in the opener was the highlight of the tournament for her.
“I went out and I just played basketball, and I was very happy with myself.”
Metzger, a versatile athlete who also plays on the provincial sledge hockey team in the winter, said it was a tremendous honour to play for team Canada in front of a home crowd in St. Catharines.
“The fans and everybody were incredible, as we were going down the hallways of Brock and people were asking ‘How did you do? How did you play?’ that brought up our spirits and really pushed us to work harder when we had so many people behind you all the time. It was fantastic.”