Yu Mengyu set Team Singapore’s women’s paddlers on their way in the Rio Games with a straightforward 4-0 win over Australia’s Lay Jian Fang at Riocentro on Sunday.
TeamSG paddler Yu Mengyu in action at her Olympic Games debut. Photo: Sport Singapore
The 26-year-old right-hander had to cope with playing in a noisy arena, on the court next to an epic encounter between Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa and North Korea’s Kim Song I.
Local Brazilian fans, enjoying a chance to capture some Olympic action, loudly cheered on both competitors in a match which went down to the wire - with North Korean Kim eventually enjoying an upset victory.
The fans may have loved it but for Mengyu, that excitement was a potential distraction from her third round task against the veteran Australian.
TeamSG paddler Yu Mengyu against Australia's Lay Jian Fang in the women's single event. Photo: Sport Singapore
“It was very noisy and it took some time for me to adjust to but I was determined not to allow the other match to distract me,” said the Team Singapore paddler.
“I kept telling myself not to lose concentration. The lighting was also an issue at the start but I was able to adjust quite well to that.
“I started playing quite well though and I was happy with the win. Now I just have to take things one match at a time,” she added.
Mengyu will face South Korean Jeon Jihee in the fourth round, while team-mate Feng Tianwei starts her medal challenge against Ni Xialian of Luxembourg.
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