Tokyo Olympics: Singapore paddlers keep finding China insurmountable

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Singapore's Yu Mengyu (front) and Lin Ye in action against China's Chen Meng and Wang Manyu in the women's table tennis team competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Singapore's Yu Mengyu (front) and Lin Ye in action against China's Chen Meng and Wang Manyu in the women's table tennis team competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (PHOTO: Reuters/Thomas Peter)

Reporting from Tokyo

TOKYO — China continues to be a near-insurmountable obstacle for Singapore's women's table tennis team, as the paddlers crashed 0-3 to the sport's powerhouse nation in the team competition on Tuesday (3 August).

The opening doubles pair of Yu Mengyu and Lin Ye lost 0-3 (5-11, 7-11, 5-11) in 23 minutes to Chen Meng and Wang Manyu, before Feng Tianwei was defeated 0-3 (8-11, 3-11, 8-11) in 26 minutes by Sun Yingsha in the second match.

Lin, who was not involved in last week's women's singles competition, managed to take a set off Wang in the third match, but eventually succumbed 1-3 (11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 5-11) in 39 minutes.

“Our doubles partnership is not bad but our opponents are much superior," Yu told the official Olympic media service after the tie. 

"We don’t meet such quality opponents so often so in circumstances where the rallies are longer, those points were tough to win. And we didn’t make on-court adjustments as quickly as them.”

No medals from paddlers for second straight Games

The loss meant that there are no medals from the Singapore paddlers for a second straight Olympics, following medal wins at the 2008 Beijing Games (one silver) and the 2012 London Games (two bronzes).

“This is no longer our era," Feng said. "For us to stand on this stage – whether it’s Mengyu, whether it’s me – we have been through so many injuries. It’s been difficult. 

"Of course, we wanted to make the semi-finals but the reality is that we were drawn in China’s quarter. Once that happened, more or less, we didn’t stand a chance.”

Singapore have never beaten the China team at the Olympics. The only time which they registered a team victory against China was at the 2010 World Team Championships in Moscow. 

The paddlers had beaten France 3-0 in the round of 16 on Monday to set up the tie with China.

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