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After tears, Chinese wrestler Sun Yanan desires to come back again with a smile

by sportswriters Wang Chujie, Huang Haoran

NANCHANG, South China, April 7 (Xinhua) — Tears streamed down Sun Yanan’s face as she knelt within the middle of the mat. It was August 7, 2021, and the ladies’s freestyle wrestling 50kg ultimate on the Tokyo Olympics had simply ended. In lower than two minutes, Sun had misplaced the match because of a small mistake that price her dearly.

When requested by reporters if she would proceed to coach for the subsequent Olympics after the match, she could not give a definitive reply. At the time, she confronted many challenges, together with accidents, age, and youthful opponents vying for her spot.

In early spring 2023, Sun returned to China’s nationwide girls’s wrestling workforce after practically a yr of restoration from knee surgical procedure.

“When I make up my mind, all the difficulties or challenges seem to be no problem.”

The Rio Olympic bronze medalist and Tokyo Olympic silver medalist has launched into her journey to arrange for the Olympics as soon as once more.

To higher put together for the upcoming Asian Championships, the Chinese workforce relocated in mid-March to coach in Nanchang, the place the nationwide youth workforce additionally skilled on the similar time.

Perhaps seeing the youthful faces, Sun considered her personal inexperienced self. She, who hasn’t up to date her private social media for a very long time, posted a photograph of herself taking part within the Asian Youth Wrestling Championships in 2010 with the caption, “Enjoying time with passion makes time more meaningful.”

“This is the first international competition I participated in. Seeing this photo and recalling the scene from back then, although it has been 13 years, the passion in my heart for wrestling has never changed,” Sun stated. She shared this photograph to encourage herself to go away behind every little thing from earlier than and begin anew.

Last May, Sun underwent surgical procedure for a bilateral anterior cruciate ligament and has been absent from numerous worldwide competitions for practically a yr earlier than her return to the nationwide workforce.

She is barely capable of bear bodily rehabilitation coaching, nevertheless. It will take a while earlier than she will be able to resume regular mat-specific approach coaching and return to matches.

“Rehabilitation training is quite painful. It’s about repeatedly stimulating it (the knee), and the mat-specific technique training is not systematic, which can cause some anxiety,” stated Sun.

She admitted that she is dealing with important challenges however stated optimistically that, as soon as she makes up her thoughts, she’s going to persist with it.

“Yanan is now fully committed to rehabilitation, and it’s an exciting challenge to help her recover as soon as possible. I am in full confidence in her own capacity,” stated Frenchman Guillaume Defois, health coach of the Chinese nationwide wrestling workforce.

The assist of her household additionally fuels Sun’s perseverance.

During the times of being away from the wrestling enviornment, Sun had her wedding ceremony, and her husband Zhang Ridong can be an achieved Chinese wrestler.

Most of the spouse and husband’s conversations revolve round wrestling, and so they each perceive the which means of persistence for a dream.

“He is a Greco-Roman wrestler, and I am a freestyle wrestler. Our events have similarities and differences. We often have intense discussions analyzing opponents or during training breaks,” she stated.

“My husband is very supportive of me. I also want to seize the opportunity to continue pursuing my dreams,” Sun Yanan stated. “Although it is my own goal, it cannot be achieved without the support of my family and the team.”

When requested about her worldwide rivals, Sun Yanan stated that wrestling is a standard energy of Japan and Japanese wrestlers usually begin at a youthful age which assist them higher perceive the game.

“We also have our own advantages in overall physical fitness and absolute strength, and we must have confidence in ourselves,” Sun added.

In 2024, then 31-year-old Sun will attempt to step onto the Olympic stage for the third time.

“When I debuted on Olympic Games at Rio 2016, I was a bit naive and forgot to celebrate after I won the bronze medal. And in Tokyo, though I improved to win a silver, I couldn’t help shedding tears of disappointment.

“If I’ve the possibility to proceed chasing my goals in Paris, I hope to go away the Olympic stage with a smile on my face,” Sun stated.