Team Singapore’s Feng Tianwei in action during Women's Team Semifinal 2 match against Japan (Photo by Sport Singapore)
Singapore's women's table tennis team will have to be content with a Bronze medal finish at the 17th Asian Games after a more experienced Japanese side beat them 3-2 in what was an epic, nail-biting battle for the finals.
Japan's Ai Fukuhara beat Team Singapore's Lin Ye in straight sets 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 in the first match on Monday evening, before a thrilling encounter unfolded between Feng Tianwei and Kasumi Ishikawa that spanned five sets. Feng narrowly lost 11-8 and 13-11 but rallied back to beat the Japanese 11-7, 11-9. Ishikawa then sealed the match with some excellent finishing, winning the last set 11-5.
Team Singapore’s Zhou Yihan in action during Women's Team Semifinal 2 match against Japan (Photo by Sport Singapore)
Zhou Yihan also put up a good fight against Sayaka Hirano as the Japanese player showed her mettle by defeating the Singaporean 13-11 in the first set. Zhou then took a more offensive approach and won the second set, but a series of unforced errors saw her losing the third. However, the Singaporean recovered quickly and later won the last two sets to give Team Singapore a glimmer of hope.
Feng again entered the fray for the fourth match and displayed sensational form to despatch Fukuhara 11-6, 11-2 in the first two sets. Fukuhara won the third set 11-7 but Feng sealed the win with an 11-8 victory in the fourth encounter.
In the deciding match between the two sides, Ishikawa proved too much for Lin Ye to handle, though the Singaporean did manage to win a set in her 3-1 loss. The defeat means that Team Singapore has now won its eighth Bronze medal at this years Games.
Team Singapore’s Lin Ye in action during Women's Team Semifinal 2 match against Japan (Photo by Sport Singapore)
Japan will now meet China in the Gold medal encounter on Tuesday.
In Mixed Doubles action on Monday, Singapore’s pairing of Zhou Yihan and Li Hu defeated Macau 3-0 to march into the round of 16 where they will face Hong Kong on Tuesday. Also safely through to the next round are the pair of Lin Ye and Yang Zi who beat Kazakhstan 3-0 to set up a tough contest against China.
The Chinese also await in the round of 16 for Women’s Doubles pair Lin Ye and Zhou who beat Kuwait 3-0 and will face China on Wedneday. The pair of Feng and Isabelle Li however bowed out of the competition after losing 3-0 to DPR Korea.