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Rio Daily: Paddlers Left to Focus on Team Hopes

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Team Singapore’s table tennis women’s singles contenders Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu both had their Olympic bids end in quarter-finals defeats on Tuesday, leaving them to focus now on the team competition.

Tianwei, the bronze medalist in London four years ago, suffered a 4-0 loss to Japan’s Ai Fukuhara while Mengyu was beaten 4-2 by North Korean Kim Song I at Riocentro Pavilion Three.

 

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TeamSG paddler Feng Tianwei in action during her quarter final match against Japan's Ai Fukuhara. Photo: Sport Singapore

 

Tianwei, who was the second seed in Rio, came up against a Japanese opponent in inspired form. The Singaporean took an early 6-3 lead but Fukuhara roared back to take the first game 14-12 and she never looked back winning the subsequent games 11-8, 11-7, 11-5.

“My opponent played very well today, and she exceeded what I expected of her,” said Feng.

“I was a bit nervous and my change of game tactics was not very successful and I wasn’t patient enough.

“Today she played the best game I ever seen her play against me. The first game was crucial because I was leading 6-3 but I didn’t deal properly with a few balls and allowed her to close the gap.”

 

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TeamSG paddler Yu Mengyu during her quarter final match against North Korean Kim Song I. Photo: Sport Singapore

 

Mengyu also came up against an opponent who has risen to the occasion in Rio with Kim having becoming a crowd favourite amongst Brazilian supporters, due to her underdog victories so far. Kim will now face defending gold medal winner Ding Ning in the last four.

“It’s such a pity because I’m playing in my first Olympics and I got to this stage,” said Yu.

“But I just couldn’t handle her game and she played much better than me today.”

Both paddlers, along with third team member Zhou Yihan, face Egypt in the first round of the team competition on Friday.

 

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