Shang Chunsong was left in tears during the Rio AA finals when she finished short of a medal by 0.116 points. She then vowed to continue till 2020 to fight for an individual Olympic medal. However, less than half a year later, she mentioned in a fan chat that she might NOT be doing AA in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Despite deliverying strong performances, Shang Chunsong was denied of an
individual medal in Rio. (Photo @ Xinhuanet)
Indeed, Shang will be 24 years old in 2020. If Team China, which is always known for its quick turnover rate, needs a veteran to be one of the all-around competitors, it will not be a situation the Team wants to occur. Moreover, as injuries will continue to accumulate as she continues training, it is more desirable to train smart than to train hard. In other words, focusing on her strong pieces such as balance beam and floor exercise will allow her bigger chances to stay competitive internationally, thus more cost-effective.

However, there are bigger factors which may hinder Shang's prospects. We know from Bless the Blooming Flowers of Chinese Gymnastics that Team China will undergo huge adjustments next year, which will involve not only coaches but also athletes. It is thought that Shang's provincial team may still need her to do AA. However, as Team China continues to breed the new generation of all-rounders such as Li Qi (born 2002) who has great style and has already been equipped with a double twisting Yurchenko, as well as Du Siyu (born 2002) who has a bar set as competitive as a senior, Shang will need to do a lot of work in order to prove herself valuable among the blooming youngsters.
If Shang continues, she will be 24 years old in 2020, the oldest
WAG member China will ever have. (Photo @ STARtorialist)

"If I cannot contribute much to the team, then I will focus on my specialties. After all, the FIG will change the rules for the next quad, so that two specialists can come along", a rather optimistic Shang told Tencent Sports in a recent interview. As all road leads to Rome, by either chasing her all-around quest or focusing on her strong events, we sincerely wish that Shang Chunsong will eventually capture the individual Olympic medal she has been training for.

Written by Valerie Theodora Ko



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