Sports

Chen Feng retires, Pang turns professional

National paddler Chen Feng tendered his resignation to the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) on Thursday.

The 23-year-old, who qualified for his first Olympics last August, is retiring from the national team so that he can spend more time with his mother, who is in poor health.

"It has been many years since I got to spend quality time with my family," said the China-born paddler, who became eligible to play for Singapore in 2011, in a press release yesterday.

"During a recent visit to my parents' house, I realised that my parents are no longer young and energetic.

"They mean a lot to me and I realise that I can no longer take them for granted."

STTA president Ellen Lee said: "It is regrettable that Chen Feng has to leave us.

Chen Feng quit to spend more time with his mother, while Pang Xue Jie (above) has completed national service. PHOTOS: ST, ZAOBAO FILE

"While it is very unfortunate that he had to retire because of his family commitments, we understand his responsibility to his family."

Meanwhile, national paddler Pang Xue Jie, has turned professional after completing his National Service.

Rated as one of Singapore's best youth players, Pang, then ranked at world No. 334, beat Japan's world No. 14 Koki Niwa, a former world junior champion and Youth Olympic Games gold medallist, at last year's World Team Table Tennis Championships.

His other achievements include winning the doubles title with Ma Liang in the 2011 South-east Asia (SEA) Games.

Pang was also part of the men's team who struck gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.

The 24-year-old began his full-time National Service in 2014 and served in the Singapore Police Force.

VICTORY

During his time of service, he led the Singapore Police Force to victory in the singles and doubles table tennis events at the 2015 World Police and Fire Games Recap in the United States.

Pang said: "Table tennis is my passion. I love the sport and it has become a big part of my life

"My immediate plan is to train hard and qualify for this year's SEA Games and I will do my utmost for Singapore."

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