Chinese women gymnasts battling with illness….

Chinese women gymnasts battling with illness, injuries ahead of Olympics

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 5 (IANS) Chinese women gymnasts are struggling with illness and injuries ahead of the Olympic competitions, but world champion Fan Yilin is upbeat about grabbing the silver medal of the team event at Rio.

The Chinese team had podium training on Thursday with the rotation starting from the beam. But team captain Shang Chunsong looked uncomfortable during the training session as she put on a long quilted jacket while her teammates were practicing on the uneven bars, reports Xinhua.

A pale-faced Shang refused to talk to journalists after the training session, while Mao Yi, another member of the Chinese team, revealed that Shang was having a fever.

“The dining hall in the athletes’ village is quite freezing. Shang caught a cold a few days ago and was having a fever,” said Mao.

Huang Yubin, the head coach of the Chinese team, confirmed that Shang had been ill for three days and she was too weak to complete routines on the apparatus.

But Huang said they had no plans right now to replace Shang with a substitute.

“She still has three more days to recover,” said Huang.

Shang, who finished fourth in the women’s individual all-round event at last year’s World Championships, is considered China’s No. 1 medal contender for the all-around event in Rio.

Fan, the world champion in the uneven bars, also has some problem with her right forearm. She said she still felt painful during Thursday’s training.

“But I’m confident,” said Fan, when asked about the chances of a second-place finish in the team event.

The Chinese women’s team finished behind the US to take the silver at last year’s World Championships.

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