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A Chinese gold medalist’s grandma died in April, but she wasn’t told until after the Olympics so she wouldn’t lose focus

Summary List PlacementA gold medal Chinese table tennis player was kept in the dark about her grandmother's death until after she returned home from the Tokyo Olympics.  The South China Morning Post reports that Sun Yingsha's grandmother died in April, but the 20-year-old was already in training at the time and was not told of the news. SCMP reports that Sun's family took the decision not to tell her about her relative's death so that she could remain focused on her goal of winning Olympic gold in her first games. It is unclear how Sun reacted to being given the news around...

Gold medallists Chen Meng of China, Wang Manyu of China and Sun Yingsha of China on the podium at Tokyo

Summary List Placement

A gold medal Chinese table tennis player was kept in the dark about her grandmother’s death until after she returned home from the Tokyo Olympics. 

The South China Morning Post reports that Sun Yingsha’s grandmother died in April, but the 20-year-old was already in training at the time and was not told of the news.

SCMP reports that Sun’s family took the decision not to tell her about her relative’s death so that she could remain focused on her goal of winning Olympic gold in her first games.

It is unclear how Sun reacted to being given the news around four months after the death.

At Tokyo, Sun won gold in the team competition and silver in the singles, twice defeating fellow 20-year-old Mima Ito from Japan, who is a close friend.

In the women’s singles competition, Sun was defeated by her countrywoman Chen Meng 4-2 having beaten Ito in the semi-finals.

Sun won 3-1 against Ito in the second match of the best of five final to help China win gold in the women’s team event.

Her strong performances at the games saw her rise up to number two in the International Table Tennis Federation world rankings with only Chen now ahead of her.

Speaking after the Olympics, Sun was critical of her performance at Tokyo, even though she secured two medals on Olympic debut.

“I will give myself 85 points out of 100,” she told CGTN.

“I still have regrets about the singles final. My goal was to win the gold, but I only finished with silver, so I need to deduct 15 points for my performance.

“I think that will remind me in the future, to set higher standards for myself and do better.”

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