Singapore's Yu Mengyu: Nothing to lose in s-final against world No. 1
Singapore's Yu says she has nothing to lose in today's s-final against world No. 1
Four months ago, she had to be pushed in a wheelchair to board her flight home from Doha after her chronic back injury flared up during the WTT Star Contender event, igniting fear that she might not be able to take part in the Tokyo Olympics.
Now, Singaporean paddler Yu Mengyu is one win away from an Olympic medal after she stunned Japan's world No. 10 Kasumi Ishikawa 4-1 (8-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-6, 11-2) in the women's singles quarter-finals at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium yesterday.
Today, the world No. 47 will face China's top-ranked Chen Meng, who overcame Hong Kong's world No. 15 Doo Hoi Kem 4-2 (6-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-1, 11-8), and another upset will guarantee at least an unprecedented silver in the event for Singapore.
Compatriot Feng Tianwei, who was beaten 4-1 by Germany's Han Ying in the last 16, won bronze at London 2012.
Even if she loses, Yu has another chance to medal in the bronze play-off against either Japan's world No. 2 Mima Ito or China's world No. 3 Sun Yingsha.
The 31-year-old told The Straits Times: "I'm really happy to make it this far considering the circumstances. This is unexpected because my world ranking is very low.
"I couldn't play many events because of the pandemic and my injuries, and so, I did not set any targets at these Games.
"I didn't even pay much attention to the draw. I just wanted to take each match as they come and I'm not even sure whether I'm in Chen Meng or Sun Yingsha's half of the draw.
NO NEED TO SAY MORE
"Chen Meng is world No. 1, so there's no need to say more. I wish her good luck and I'm looking forward to play against them."
Olympic debutante Chen, 27, who has three world team titles, is ready to battle for a spot in the final, too. She said yesterday: "She (Yu) has played at more Olympics than me, and is older than me. I have no pressure, especially after coming back from the dead, having been 2-0 down today.
"I hope starting from the next match, from the first point, I can take the game to her."
Yesterday, against two-time Olympic team medallist Ishikawa, Yu lost her opening game for the first time at Tokyo 2020, but worked her way back into the match.
She saved two game points to take the third game and stepped up a gear to win the next two with ease, dropping just two game points in the entire match after leading 10-0 in the final frame.
She may have two shots at winning a medal, but Yu still refuses to believe her own hype.
She added: "I think this is the right mentality. When I came into these Olympics, and entered the match venue, I was looking to find the competition feel, avoid injury and fight to win every match.
"I feel so much joy playing here, this is the most I have enjoyed playing in my professional career because it really is very difficult to reach the final four in Tour events. Sometimes, we can be eliminated by the Chinese or Japanese even before the main draw starts.
"Everyone is ranked much higher than me at this stage. I have nothing to lose."
Singaporeans in action at Tokyo 2020
- Yeo Jia Min (women's singles, Group K) - lost 21-13, 21-14 to South Korea's Kim Ga-eun
- Loh Kean Yew (men's singles, Group G) - lost 22-20, 13-21, 21-18 to Indonesia's Jonatan Christie
- Yu Mengyu (women's singles quarter-finals) - Beat Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan 4-1 (8-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-6, 11-2)
- Amanda Ng (women's windsurfer RS:X, races 7-9) - 26th out of 27 after nine races (185 pts)
- Kimberly Lim & Cecilia Low (women's 49er FX, races 4-6) - 16th out of 21 after six races
- Quah Ting Wen (women's 100m free) - Finished 36th out of 51 swimmers in the heats with 56.36sec.
- Yu Mengyu v Chen Meng, China (women's singles semi-finals) - 10am
- Ryan Lo (men's laser, races 7-8) - 11am
- Amanda Ng (women's windsurfer RS:X, races 10-12) - 12pm
- Quah Zheng Wen (men's 100m butterfly, Heat 4) - 6.50pm
- Joseph Schooling (men's 100m butterfly, Heat 5) - 6.52pm
* Catch the action on MediaCorp meWatch, Ch 5, Singtel TV Ch 23/26/28/29/32/34 and StarHub TV Ch251/254/256/257/260/262. All in S'pore time. Schedule subject to change.