Singaporean’s fairytale run to Tokyo table tennis semis ends in tears, pain

DailyTimes  |  Jul 30, 2021

TOKYO: A Singaporean table tennis player reduced to a wheelchair just a few months ago was left in tears Thursday after her surprise run at the Tokyo Olympics met a painful end in the semi-finals. Yu Mengyu, the 26th seed at the pandemic-delayed Games in the Japanese capital, required prolonged treatment towards the end of her 6-11, 8-11, 7-11, 6-11 defeat to China’s top-seeded Chen Meng. China-born Yu, who reached the Olympic quarter-finals at Rio 2016, later lost the bronze-medal match to Japan’s Mima Ito. The 31-year-old Yu has long suffered injury problems, notably to her back and shoulder, and in March was pictured being escorted in a wheelchair for her flight home from a tournament in Doha after the problem flared again, the local Straits Times said. Following her semi-finals defeat to Chen, Yu said that she had a problem with her left thigh and the issue was linked to her back again. Yu, who has talked previously of retiring after Tokyo, said that the physio came on to “give me some medical treatment, see if I can persevere and complete this match”. Dissolving into tears, Yu added: “Because as a professional athlete, concluding a match is very important. For me to stand in this Olympic arena is already very difficult so I really didn’t want to easily give up on this match because of injury.”

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