Chen Meng Takes Home Women’s Singles Crown At Tokyo 2020

(Photo: ITTF)

Top-seed Chen Meng (27) has taken gold on her Olympic Games debut, defeating fellow compatriot and second seed Sun Yingsha (20) in the Women’s Singles final.

The Chinese pair of Chen and Sun launched themselves at each other throughout the six-game spectacle, exchanging like-for-like with little to separate the two finalists at two games apiece. Boosting her play, the eventual champion would take the remaining games, achieving her career-first gold medal and leaving Sun to settle for silver (9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9).

“I can finally laugh now because it has been pretty intense the last few days. I was very nervous during the match because both Sun and myself really wanted to fulfil our personal goal of winning the gold medal. We matched each other well but I believe what gave me the edge was probably my experience. We have got two days of rest before we go again with the Team’s event. I want to bring home the gold medal for China in the Team’s event again. All I want to do is to admire my gold medal now.” – Chen Meng

Despite failing to achieve gold, runner-up Sun can be truly proud of her achievement, claiming silver in her first-ever Games. At just 20 years of age, Sun has great potential to match Chen’s record. Meanwhile, Sun, together with Chen, will get a strong chance of taking gold in the Women’s Team event, in which Team China are the top seed.

“I have no regrets about my performance although I lost the final. I did my best and Chen is a very strong opponent. The road ahead is still long and there will be many opportunities for me to become a better player and win again. My focus now is to help China win the Team’s event.” – Sun Yingsha

Taking bronze in the Women’s Singles was Japan’s Mima Ito. Seeded third in the competition, Ito stayed true to her tournament prediction, leaving the event with her career-first Olympic medal following her victory over Singapore’s Yu Mengyu (6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6).

However, Ito’s aspirations to fight above her seeding weren’t realised, with silver medallist Sun dispatching the Japanese star in just four games. As a result, Ito will be looking to build upon her mixed feelings of success and disappointment in the forthcoming team event.

“This medal is very important, but my first goal was to get to the final. I have mixed feelings of frustration and anger because it’s not really perfect. I prepared myself really well for that match against Sun, and I tried really hard to get into the final, but I could not do it. I’m looking forward to the Team’s event now. I hope to use my frustration, disappointment as a form of motivation and do well in then.” – Mima Ito

Ito has now collected two medals at Tokyo 2020 after combining with Jun Mizutani to Mixed Doubles gold earlier in the week. You can read more about Japan’s first gold medal win here.

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