Chen Meng, who beat S'pore's Yu Mengyu in table tennis, is actor Huang Xiaoming's cousin

The family ties between Chen and Huang have been known for years.
The family ties between Chen and Huang have been known for years.PHOTOS: EPA-EFE, HUANG XIAOMING/WEIBO
Chen Meng is currently the world No. 1.
Chen Meng is currently the world No. 1.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Chinese star paddler Chen Meng, who beat Singapore's Yu Mengyu in the women's singles semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday morning (July 29), has a famous fan cheering her on - actor-singer Huang Xiaoming, 43, is her older cousin.

Chen, 27, who is currently the world No. 1, will play for gold on Thursday night Singapore time, against compatriot Sun Yingsha. This is Chen's first Olympics outing.

The family ties between Chen and Huang have been known for years - their paternal grandmothers are sisters, making them second cousins - and he has cheered on the China table tennis team on social media in the past.

After Chen beat Hongkong's Doo Hoi-kem in an exciting match with epic rallies on Wednesday (July 28), netizens became very curious about her.

One online commenter wrote: "In the future, we will not say she is Huang Xiaoming's cousin, but Huang Xiaoming is Chen Meng's cousin."

Netizens also dug up another famous name connected to Chen.

One of her former team mates is actor Allen Ren, 32, who used to be her partner on the Shandong Provincial Team, way before she became a table tennis superstar.

The two reportedly remained still firm friends even after he gave up table tennis due to injuries and went into show business. He rose to fame in the 2017 historical drama The Glory Of Tang Dynasty and was seen in period drama Under The Power (2020), which was shown on Singapore's Channel 8 last year.