Chinese diver's family lied to her to keep her focused on training

BEIJING - The father of a champion Chinese diver has reportedly admitted hiding news that her mother had cancer to keep her focused on the Olympics, triggering criticism of China's ruthless pursuit of victory.

Diver Wu Minxia, 26, scooped gold in the synchronised 3m springboard at the London Olympics, becoming the first diver in history to win golds at three consecutive Games.

Her parents had gone to extreme lengths to ensure their daughter's success, including concealing the news of her mother's eight-year battle with breast cancer from her, the Shanghai Daily reported on Monday.

The family also kept news of Wu's grandparents' death from the diver, the report said.

"Wu called us after her grandmother died, I gritted my teeth and told her: 'everything's fine, there aren't any problems'," Wu's father Wu Jueming told the paper.

Wu's parents found such lies were "essential" to ensure their daughter could keep focused on her training, the Shanghai Daily said.

"We never talk about family matters with our daughter," the father said.

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