Newsflash: Singapore beats China 3-1 in World Team Table Tennis final

Singapore created sporting history this evening when it stunned China to win the 50th World Team Table Tennis Championships’ women’s title.

The achievement in Moscow is Singapore’s best table tennis result on the world stage to date and also marks the first time the Republic has managed to beat its biggest rival.

Singapore finished second to China at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and at last year’s Asian Championships and World Team Cup.

But this World Team Table Tennis Championships also provided the best opportunity for the Republic to beat China.

This is because the world No. 1 was competing without two of its former No. 1s – Zhang Yining and Wang Nan, who had dominated the last three Olympics and six World Team competitions.

Although the Chinese had replaced Zhang and Wang with current world No. 1 Liu Shiwen, 18, and world No. 4 Ding Ning, 19, the two teenagers lack experience and were making their World Team debuts. As such, there were fears about their ability to deliver the goods under pressure on such a major stage.

Indeed, those fears materialised tonight.

Singapore, which had spent 35 days in centralised training in Taiwan for this tournament,  drew first blood when top player Feng Tianwei defeated Ding 3-2.

(8-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9). But it was Wang Yuegu’s stunning 3-1 ((11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10) of Liu that made everyone sitting at home in Singapore front of their television sets sit up.

Singapore was leading 2-0 and suddenly an upset was looking like a increasing possibility. But China prevented a 0-3 whitewash when Guo Yan overcame Sun Beibei 3-1 (6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-6) to reduce the deficit.

And so the match hung on the clash of the world’s top two players. It did not help matters that Feng had not beaten Liu in four encounters prior to this.

But in the end, Feng clinched the world title for Singapore when she overcame Liu 3-2 (11-7, 14-16, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7) in a nerve-wracking encounter.

The Singapore Sports Fan would like to congratulate the Singapore team on their success and for finally overcoming their inability to beat China.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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7 thoughts on “Newsflash: Singapore beats China 3-1 in World Team Table Tennis final

  1. angkujupi says:

    sigh, u just can’t stop the cynics from trawling out all their stale china B wins, where got pride, kelong, mercenery etc etc comments….

    why can’t people be fair-minded & recognise an extraordinary achievement when they see one ?

    Also, even if Liu Shi Wen & Ding Ning may be playing the World Championships for the first time, it is absurd to regard them as inexperienced greenhorns.

    Sparring with the best in home country, where Liu & Ding have regularly played & even beaten Zhang Yi Ning, Guo Yue etc, Liu & Ding have beaten our Feng in all previous encounters whether in the various opens or tournaments.

    So, to suggest, China kelong for us to win is ludicrous !

    • singaporesportsfan says:

      Dear Angkujupi

      It’s been a couple of quiet days of reflection for me ever since Singapore won the World Team Table Tennis Championships on Sunday.

      Like you, I felt a sense of pride and happiness when Singapore won. But I couldn’t help wondering why my feelings were such a stark contrast to the ambivalence and lack of interest when Singapore finished second in the women’s team final (after losing 0-3 to China) at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

      I’d been wondering what had changed. And now I think I know why.

      A couple of reasons:

      Firstly, I must say I was pretty moved by a couple of reports in The Straits Times about the team during their five-week centralised training in Taiwan in preparation for the World Championships.

      One of them was about the players’ strict training programme which included having to train seven hours a day every day. The other was about Li Jiawei and the sacrifices she has had to make as a first-time mother in order to make her comeback to the game after giving birth, and to realise her ambition of winning another Olympic medal for Singapore at the 2012 London Games.

      The other reason has to be the new leadership at the STTA.

      Current president Lee Bee Wah may have her detractors but I really feel that she has been genuine in her efforts these past two years to create a structure to produce more local players who will go on to shine for Singapore in future.

      The sense of genuity is in complete contrast to the sham that was taking place under the previous regime.

      In fact, that regime’s decision to focus completely on foreign talent, and to put one local player in every Singapore team as a token representative was, to me, the greatest insult ever made to Singapore sport.

      I guess I saw the 2008 Beijing Olympics team as the representative of that previous regime, of all that was wrong with the Foreign Talent Scheme, even though that regime and its leader were eventually unceremoniously booted out and replaced by LBW and her team two months before the Beijing Olympics.

      And I guess that’s why I still felt little love towards the women’s team, even wishing for it to fail in the semi-finals against South Korea.

      The Straits Times reports I’d mentioned earlier also went some way to changing my perception of the foreign-born paddlers in the Singapore team.

      Really, I could not helped being moved by the sort of sacrifices they were making, and the hardships they were enduring just to ensure that they would be in the best condition to represent Singapore.

      I was also pretty impressed by the fighting spirit and determination that Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu and Sun Beibei showed in Sunday’s final, and could not help feeling a tinge of pride at the way they took the fight to the Chinese.

      My wish now is to see some locally-born Singaporean paddlers making the breakthrough into the senior team, and by that, I mean their becoming truly key players at the major Games, instead of just reserves, playing alongside the foreign-born paddlers and both parties competing as equals under one flag.

      Somehow, I feel confident that I can see this happening in a few years’ time under the present STTA leadership.

      Just my two cents.

      Cheers
      SSF

    • Reply says:

      World table tennis games have been changed a lot of time by the International table tennis federation or governing body. It was a 21 point game changed to a 15 point game and to a 11 point game now. It was a much smaller table tennis ball, which was changed to a bigger one etc..Why? Because, the member in the governing felt that China is winning the game all the time and they have been changing the way the game is being played to prevent China dominating in this sports. It comes now to a time when the existence of table tennis is questioned as an olympic event..one thing I see is that the likelihood of this happening is diminishing..What is also real is that it is really 100% China B against China A. What pride?

  2. concerned says:

    For me to accept them as “Singaporeans”, what I want to see, is for the paddlers to show that they have integrated into the country.

    Yet, all I see are them not being able to sing the National Anthem (2002 Commonwealth Games was embarrassing), calling themselves citizens of China, speaking with thick Beijing accents after 10 years, not being able to speak English at all, etc. All I see is STTA showing no remorse that they continually field players made up of no local born players at all. Dont tell me about Zena Sim or Isabella Li. STTA will never let these girls play top tier matches ahead of the foreign-born players.

    Tao Li is a great example on how to show that you belong. Her friends are all Singaporeans, she is comfortable in English, she keeps saying how she wants to “win for Singapore”. these are qualities I dont, and have never seen from the paddlers

    • singaporesportsfan says:

      Dear Concerned

      I used to think that Tao Li was the best example of a successfully integrated foreign sports talent.

      But a part of me felt something is still not quite right when she was quoted in the papers a while back as saying that she was “going back” to China for a short holiday before returning to Singapore to resume her training.

      Regards
      SSF

  3. Thoughts says:

    In a arena like sports, not economy and politics affecting the livelihood of people, we are using 100% foreign players, coaches, backbenchers without even a single local Singapore representation makes me wonder the true meaning of sports here? Whats the pride?

  4. angkujupi says:

    ssf, yr sharing is quite touching.

    sample comments from net:- working hard no big deal, everyone wanting to be champs also work hard…

    for me:-
    -this thrill mostly came cos it is a huge UPSET, Feng/Wang NEVER beaten Ding/Liu before
    – i like Feng & her humble ways/story even if i dunno her personally

    yes, tao li speaking singlish is good sign.
    jin jun hong marrying local & giving birth locally even better example of integration.

    actually, previous STTA Mgt could hv done more to help JiaWei more integrated in the decade she is here – not done. so she marry PRC & likely to relocate there after her playing days.

    My stand is: LBW did right to try out mass training to kindergartens etc. but dun start hot end cold – must sustain. Also, winning with imports is NOT unsustainable & not long term solution. They are inducted to raise standards not to crowd out local talent.

    btw, SSF, today ST, Loh Lin Kok just announced he won’t run this year. I dun trust his words – until a new President is in place. Loh is a crafty one.

    Subhas also withdrew saying his doc & wife against.

    Looks like either Tang unchallenged if Low Teo Pin is persuaded to continue being advisor or Low (backed by SNOC/SSC) clash with Tang.

    Hope to hear yr comments soon. cheers.

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