After the Olympics, she took a rest before adjusting back to normal training. She was really worried when her stamina/strength was far from what she had in the past and she is taking a long time to regain her old top form.
After withdrawing from competition in Baku and only competing 6 routines at Nationals, Songsong said “in gymnastics, it is impossible to always be at the top/peak. I can only face it and slowly adjust my mindset”.
Songsong is the second oldest at Nationals this year (first being Jiang Tong) and she got a gold and a bronze this year. This is her “worst” medal haul over the past 4 years but it was much harder to get than her past 14 golds.
When she completed her floor routine in EF, she was anxiously waiting for her score - now she is only left with a 5.6 difficulty. Here is how she summarized her performance as Nationals “My performance was so-so. I only put my routine together in Wuhan. In Beijing, I will only train for half a day and rest in the other half. I am not in good shape so I can’t train at such high intensity. Now I am not in good form because after the Olympics is over, my strength/stamina deteriorated quickly and I am unhappy/uncomfortable with that. After all, I have always been at a peak. With this sharp decline, I am losing a bit of confidence - I am losing my ability too fast.”
Songsong told the reporters that she can’t face this trough in her gymnastics career well but she is slowly learning to deal with it. The FX gold will mean a lot to her - more than her past 14 medals. Songsong was not satisfied with her FX performance. In her own words, “I completed it but it looks disgusting”. When her fans asked to take a photo with her after the finals, Songsong was slightly embarrassed and said “Sorry, I didn’t perform very well today. My form is bad.” :(
But remember Songsong did hit both of her beam routines at nationals, she learnt a piked jaegar, a LOSO mount and still has her Gomez + illusion connection on floor :)
The Chinese gym fans’ takeaway: As long as she competes, they will watch! It is good if it comes with a medal but still okay otherwise. They took some screenshots of YouTube comments from her fans so hopefully she will see it.
Fan Yilin posted on weibo: “In one year, I am no longer on the highest podium. Of course, I am sad but this is how cruel competitive sports is. The strongest will always overtake and win. Naturally, I am unhappy but only for a while! I saw the difference in my ability and in this 3 months before National Games, I will make myself better and I will definitely perform my best again and leave no regrets. :)
It is kinda sad that both Fan and Shang were looking their best at Nationals in 2016 and were not at their peak in Rio and maybe screwed over in Rio :(