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Table tennis: Singapore's Yu Mengyu misses out on Olympics bronze, losing to Japan's Mima Ito

Table tennis: Singapore's Yu Mengyu misses out on Olympics bronze, losing to Japan's Mima Ito

Singapore's Yu Mengyu (right) gestures during the bronze medal match of the table tennis women's singles against Japan's Mima Ito at the Tokyo Olympics on Jul 29, 2021. (Photo: AP/David Goldman)

SINGAPORE: Yu Mengyu's quest for an Olympic medal in the table tennis women's singles event ended on Thursday evening (Jul 29), after the Singaporean lost 4-1 to Japan's Mima Ito in the bronze medal match. 

The two faced off at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, having lost their respective semi-final matches earlier in the day to Chinese opponents.

Yu, seeded 47th, was not only up against a much higher-ranked opponent, she had also sustained an injury to her thigh during her semi-finals clash with China’s world No 1 Chen Meng.

"I felt that I played well, but perhaps I did not handle the crucial points as well as my opponent. If I had added a bit more variety to my shots, my scores could have been better," Yu told reporters after the match. 

Yu came out strong, taking the first game against third-seeded Ito. 

The pair traded points in the second, but it was the Japanese player who would level it at one game apiece.

Ito carried that momentum through to the third and fourth games and Yu was staring at a 1-3 deficit.

Despite her earlier injury, Yu showed little sign of any discomfort but was simply unable to match the guile of her 20-year-old opponent, who dazzled with her shot-making.

Ito would take the deciding game 11-6 for an overall 4-1 victory.

Ito's bronze medal adds to the gold she won on Monday when she and partner Jun Mizutani stunned the Chinese pair of Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen in the mixed doubles, an event played for the first time at the Olympics.

Yu said that looking at her match, she has no regrets. 

"Maybe there were a lot of expectations after I made the top four because I was so close to a medal. I might have thought so as well," she said. 

"I had hoped to deliver a medal as a gift to Singapore for the upcoming National Day. It is a pity that I wasn't able to, but I tried my best and I have no regrets."

She added that she is grateful for the support of Singaporeans.

In a Facebook post on Thursday evening, Yu again thanked her supporters.

"Without your support, I cannot stand on the stage of this Olympics," wrote Yu.

"Although I was a little regretful, my body was not strong enough, but I did my best. Life cannot be perfect for everything. A life with a little regret is real life."

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network.

Source: CNA/ac(ta)

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