China table tennis star Sun Yingsha was not told of her grandmother’s April death until after the Tokyo Olympic Games finished, her father told Chinese media. According to reports, Sun’s family took the decision to keep the death of her grandmother from the 20-year-old so that she could focus on competing in the Tokyo Games, with the paddler already away at training camp. Sun won gold in the women’s team event and silver in the women’s singles, beating Japanese table tennis rising star Mima Ito in both – 4-0 in the singles and 3-1 in their team match singles rubber. Those performances saw Sun surpass Ito in the ITTF world rankings, moving up to No 2 ahead of her rival and behind Tokyo women’s singles gold medal winner Chen Meng of China. Sun’s new world ranking was a trending topic on Weibo under the hashtag “Sun Yingsha’s world ranking surpasses Mima Ito”. The new world No 2 dismissed that to say the pair are relatively similar and the rankings do not mean much. China beat Japan for fourth women’s table tennis team gold Ito, who is only a couple of weeks older than Sun, told of her respect for her rival and the friendship they share in an interview with China’s English-language Global Times . “I have set up the ambition to overcome Sun during my preparations. I have improved a lot at the Olympics but it seems Sun improved more than I did, that’s why I failed to win. “I think Sun can facilitate my personal improvement,” said Ito, who was part of the mixed doubles team that won gold for Japan and stopped China’s clean sweep of the table tennis golds for the first Games since Athens in 2004. “Generally speaking, it is the Chinese players that could push me to improve, as every match against them, no matter win or lose, is beneficial to me.” While some social media users in China turned on the Japanese star during the Games, a clip of Sun and Ito sharing Japanese onigiri at a tournament in Weihai last year went viral during the Olympics. Ito said that she wants to meet Sun on the other side of the net soon. “I want to play against Sun one more time,” she said. “I want to win. But it takes not only resolve but solid performances to win matches.” The pair could yet meet before the end of the year at the upcoming Asian and World Championships.