CWG2018: Young table tennis duo shine on Commonwealth Games debut
14 April 2018
By Yaocheng Lee
Our young Team Singapore paddlers are proud of making it to the men’s doubles semi finals
They are only teenagers and have never played in a major international competition before. But Ethan Poh and Koen Pang managed to defy all expectations and made it to the top four in the men’s doubles event on their Commonwealth Games debut.
They courageously fought hard till the end against more experienced opponents. Despite the doubles pair lost to India’s Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shankar Shetty in the bronze medal match, their achievements are something we should be very proud of.
For the debutants, a little nervousness before the match is expected, especially in such major Games. And this nervousness might have gotten the better of Koen at the start of the match.
“Before the match, I was actually quite edgy as we were fighting for bronze so there was a medal on the line. And it was my first time competing in a major competition as well,” said 15-year-old Koen, who is the youngest member of the Team Singapore delegation.
The boys made great strides in this Commonwealth Games, and the experience of competing against world class athletes in an international competition will definitely propel them further in the future.
“This experience taught me to be more daring to go for the ball. When I play in major events next time, I will recollect this experience and apply what I have learned. This competition has helped me to handle high pressure environments,” Koen said.
“I will definitely be less nervous and be more daring in the next major Games I compete in.”
“It’s made me a better player, because if I get into similar situations, I will not the same mistakes I have made this time.”
SEA Games silver medallist Ethan also echoed similar sentiments. For a young player such as he, experiences such as this can also serve to improve his gameplay.
“This is a good lesson and learning experience for us so we will use this experience to train harder for future competitions,” the 19-year-old said.
“I learnt how to keep calm and cool and keeping to the game plan in different situations. I also learnt that I need to be able to adjust and adapt to the opponent’s game plan.”
Table tennis team manager Eddy Tay was particularly proud of his two young charges and sees them growing into top players in the future.
As our athletes progress into the last day of the Commonwealth Games tomorrow, do stay tuned to catch our TeamSG paddlers in their respective final events on www.toggle.sg/cwg2018 and follow our Team Singapore Facebook page for exclusive updates!