10 Feb 2019

Featuring as a member of the Singapore team that stunned the world with a gold medal finish at the 2010 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Moscow, Yu Mengyu has been an established fixture of the Singapore national set up over the past decade or so.

However, only a few years back the now 29-year-old nearly called her career to an early halt due to serious injury concerns.

by Simon Daish

Suffering back problems in 2014 but Yu Mengyu was determined to keep at it as she aimed to gain a place at the 2016 Olympic Games, a feat she achieved thanks in part to platelet-rich plasma treatment.

“I couldn’t even get out of bed for a month in 2014 because of the back injury. I felt like giving up, but I really wanted to play in the Olympics at least once, so I hung on.” Yu Mengyu

Following a long stint away from the ITTF World Tour stage the Singapore player was eliminated at the first hurdle of the 2017 Korea Open and was sent home from the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships just two rounds into the tournament.

However, since then things have taken a turn for the better for Yu Mengyu, who has grown to enjoy being involved in the action again.

“After a few months out, I used a year to play international tournaments and the results were not ideal and I was really depressed. I couldn’t even see the ball as it whizzed past me. But it could be that I have matured with age or it could be the surgery that made me appreciate every minute of competition. So, I’m playing with more joy and calmness.” Yu Mengyu

One such example of Yu Mengyu’s recent upturn in form came last year at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, picking up Singapore’s sole gold medal in the table tennis events.

Causing a Round of 16 upset with her 4-3 success against no.6 seed Doo Hoi Kem, Yu Mengyu, seeded 14th, went on to claim another huge scalp one round later – the Singapore player needed just five games to see off third seed Cheng I-Ching, guaranteeing a bronze medal in the process.

“The 2018 Asian Games was the first and last Asian Games that I would play. So, I told myself before playing tough opponents or those whom I have a very low win rate against that I want to outdo myself and not have any regrets. And I did it!” Yu Mengyu

It’s fair to say Yu Mengyu has experienced her fair share of ups and downs over the years but the Singapore athlete isn’t done with the sport yet with one major accolade still on her radar:

“I still don’t have an Olympic medal, and that’s my goal for now.” Yu Mengyu

Source: The Straits Times

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