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

TOKYO (AFP) – A Singaporean table tennis player reduced to a wheelchair just a few months ago was left in tears yesterday 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 Straits Times said.

Singapore’s Yu Mengyu (R) receives assistance as she competes against China’s Chen Meng during their women’s singles semifinals table tennis match at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium yesterday. PHOTO: AFP