Chinese team captain Chen Yibing, the reigning world and Olympic still rings champion, is set on defending his title at the upcoming Olympics despite a minor knee injury.
Reigning Olympic still rings champion Chen Yibing remains confident going into the Olympic Games, despite the knee injury he suffered Saturday in training.
Chen, 27, injured his knee on vault while training at Salto Gymnastics Centre in Northern Ireland, where the Chinese gymnastics squads are training before heading to London. An MRI revealed a minor injury to the meniscus, Chinese media reported.
At the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, Chen competed floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings and vault in qualification. In team finals he competed pommel horse and still rings only to help the Chinese men defend their title. Chen won still rings in Tokyo as well, his fourth world title on the event since 2006.
The Chinese men are the defending Olympic champions from the 2008 Games in Beijing, but they are up against much stiffer competition in London. The gymnastics teams also are down to five members from six, a change made by the International Gymnastics Federation to allow more individuals to qualify to the Olympics. However, Chen's value on still rings should keep him in China's lineup even if he is unable to compete floor exercise and vault.
Chen also has his eye on making history in London, where he could become the first Chinese gymnast to win back-to-back Olympic titles since Lou Yun, 1984 and 1988 vault champion. The last gymnast to win back-to-back Olympic titles on still rings was Japanese great Akinori Nakayama, who won in 1972 and 1976.
"No matter what happens, I will stick it out to the end and give it my best to achieve my dream!" Chen wrote on his microblog. "Thank you for giving me support and encouragement!"
External Link: Chinese Gymnastics Association