06 - 20
August 2016
13 Mengran Sun (CHN)
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Sun Mengran can’t wait to make Olympic debut in Rio

BEIJING (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) - After starring for China at last month's FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT), Sun Mengran can't wait to make her Olympic debut in a month’s time at the Rio Games.

The 1.95m center, long tipped as one of China's rising stars, has lived up to her top prospect credentials at the WOQT in helping her country secure one of the five tickets for the Olympics.

With averages of 10 points and 3.7 rebounds in three games in Nantes, France, she joined Shao Ting as the only other Chinese players to average double digit scoring.

"I know we still have to improve, but right now, we are just so happy to have qualified for the Olympics. It’ll be good for me to be in the Olympics." - Sun Mengran

Talking to FIBA.com, Sun Mengran who turns 24 on 16 July, explained that China "have worked very hard in the tournament and we must keep that level of intensity in the Olympics. There isn't time for rest, we must keep the momentum going for the Olympics."

After being on the wrong end of a blowout loss to Spain in Group D, China came up strong in the Quarter-Finals, upsetting Belarus 84-70 and as a result join Japan as the other Asian team in Rio.

"We played together, we rebounded well, we played good defense, and that was key for our win against Belarus," she noted.

The starting center, the MVP of the 2016 Chinese Women's Basketball Association (WCBA) All-Star Game earlier this year, has established herself as a key factor for Tom Maher's team, who will face Canada, Spain, USA, Senegal and Serbia in the Rio Olympics Group B.

Congratulations China! See you in Rio! #FIBAOQT #Rio2016 #RoadToRio

A photo posted by FIBA (@fiba) on

Despite reaching the Olympics for the fourth time in a row, one aspect of China's game couldn't go unnoticed in Nantes as they averaged 17 turnovers per game.

Sun Mengran believes correcting this is only a matter of time.

"I know we still have to improve but right now  we are just so happy to have qualified for the Olympics. It will be good for me to be in the Olympics. I can't wait."

Two generations: Nan Chen (left) is already a three-time Olympian, Sun Mengran is set to make her Olympic debut

Asked how she managed to excel in a team that includes two good 1.95m centers like Huang Hongpin and Nan Chen, Sun Mengran indicated that it was down to years and years of hard work.

Now her turn has arrived.