Cheng Fei suffered a torn Achilles' tendon Thursday, ending her bid to become China's first three-time female Olympian in gymnastics.
World and Olympic champion Cheng Fei suffered a torn Achilles' tendon Thursday, ending her comeback and bid to become China's first three-time female Olympian in gymnastics.
Cheng tore her Achilles while tumbling on floor exercise Thursday morning, Chinese women's head coach Lu Shanzhen announced on his microblog. According to reports, the accident occurred on a triple twist. She underwent surgery Thursday evening, but her dreams of competing at the upcoming Olympics in London are dashed.
Cheng, who turned 24 on May 29, is the most decorated Chinese female in gymnastics history with nine world and Olympic medals (six gold). She debuted the "Cheng" vault (Yurchenko half-on, layout Rudi) at the 2005 World Championships in Melbourne to win her first of three consecutive world titles on the event. At the 2006 Worlds in Aarhus, she also won the world title on floor exercise and led the Chinese women to their first ever gold medal in the team competition at the world championships.
The Hubei native served as captain for the Chinese women at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where the team captured another historic gold medal. She added individual bronze medals on vault and balance beam.
Cheng took time off after a torn ACL suffered at the 2009 Chinese National Games, but returned to competition in 2011. In April she won the gold medal on vault at the Zibo World Cup. Though she had not regained her top skills, she was contending for another Olympic berth because of her strength on vault, the weakest event for the Chinese women. In April, she said she was thrilled with her results, saying she felt like the high-energy "Super Mario."
Coach Lu said he was against the idea of Cheng attempting a comeback, but he praised her famous dedication.
"I have disagreed with her comeback, but her love of gymnastics has touched me, and this is so frustrating," he said.
External Link: Chinese Gymnastics Association