Team Singapore’s Feng Tianwei in action during the Women’s Team Preliminary Round Group B match against Thailand (Photo by Jaewon Lee / Sport Singapore)
Singapore’s women’s table tennis team stormed into the semifinals at the 2014 Asian Games after a convincing 3-0 victory over India in their quarterfinal match on Sunday.
The win ensures that our women paddlers will pick up a medal in the sport at this year's Games. They won a Silver medal in the previous edition in Guangzhou.
Feng Tianwei beat Manika Batra in straight sets 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 while youngster Lin Ye won Ankita Das 11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8. Zhou Yihan triumped against Poulomi Ghatak 11-5, 13-11, 11-9.
Singapore will now face a Japan team that they lost to in the semifinals of the London Olympics two years ago.
“It was a good win and the girls played very well. Everything was good and I am very pleased that this young team will get a medal,” said women’s team coach Jing Junhong.
Team Singapore’s Isabelle Li Si Yun in action during the Women’s Team Preliminary Round Group B match against Thailand (Photo by Jaewon Lee / Sport Singapore)
“It was hard and the 3-0 score doesn’t really reflect how tough the game was,” she added.
“It is especially pleasing because we had to cope without Meng Yu,” said Jing who noted that the key player is absent due to a recurrence of her back injury.
Meng Yu is out of the women's singles as well as doubles, and Lin Ye is set to replace her in both events. Lin Ye will now partner with Zhou Yi Han in the doubles while Feng will pair with Isabelle Li.
“This is big blow to the team, and of course we will feel the impact,” she said.
Feng is the only member of the team from four years ago who is competing in this Games, as retirements and injuries have forced changes. In comparison, Japan boasts having a more experienced line-up and the coach sees her side as the one who have to battle against the odds.
Team Singapore’s Li Hu in action during the Men’s Team Preliminary Round Group A match against China (Photo by Jaewon Lee / Sport Singapore)
“Japan is very strong. Their key players are older and of course they won an Olympic Silver medal. We have a new team, but we want to try our best. We may be the underdogs but we can play well and we will see,” added Jing.
Over in men's table tennis action, the team comprising Gao Ning, Chen Feng and Li Hu bowed out of the tournament on Sunday with a 3-0 loss to South Korea.