The latest news on the Yao Jinnan scare at Chinese Nationals, after she landed badly during vault training, is that the Chinese star has been withdrawn from the event.
Although team coaches claim the injury isn’t serious, they are being careful and not letting her compete. There seems to be little fear the injury will affect her London ambitions.
According to a translation of this news video, the coaches claim the decision was made simply because they wish for her to heal faster so she can be back to her ‘olf self’ by the time of the Olympics. The injury is said to be a soft tissue injury. The reporters comment that Yao looks quite glum, after the decision was made that she wouldn’t compete.
This must be a disappointment for the rising gymnastics star, as much as it is for Chinese gymnastics fans who were avidly anticipating seeing how the development of China’s greatest hope for an all around Olympic medal is coming. Last year Yao Jinnan had the benefit of no one really anticipating just how successful she would be at the World Championships. Her earlier World Cup events that year, such as Doha had revealed an excellent leg gymnast, perhaps a two or three-eventer. Then, however, while all eyes were on the Komova/Wieber showdown, she unleashed a heck of an performance on all four events, even threatening to take the gold medal until inexperience caused her to make some mistakes. While she had to be satisfied with a bronze in Tokyo, what everyone realised was that it was a performance worthy of gold if she hadn’t let her nerves get to her. And the hope was, that by the time the Olympics come around, she would have some more competitive confidence. Sadly, having to withdraw from the competition means one less competitive experience for her to draw from. And while some may say ‘it is only Nationals’, competing at Nationals in a nation as deep as China is as competitive, if not more competitive than some international events!
This year Yao Jinnan and her coaches don’t have the benefit of sneaking up on the competition. In this Olympic year, she is well and truly on the radar as all around medal promise. She has a reputation, and preserving her body from wear and tear and the threat of more injury is a way of protecting that reputation and that promise. While it is disappointing not to see her this week, it will make the Olympic even more exciting.
Here is a video of a news report on the injury. There is a translation of the commentary in the comments, but it doesn’t say much more.
Thanks to LovePandas on Youtube for providing the translation and Komova2012 for the video.
Article: Brigid McCarthy