Sports

Clarence steps up

It was a mixed day at the world championships for the Singapore's men's team in Group B yesterday.

Ranked world No. 15, the men got off to a great start by stunning world No. 7 Hong Kong 3-1, with 18-year-old Clarence Chew the unlikely hero.

Ranked world No. 351 in the singles, the teenager was two sets down against his 112th-ranked opponent Wong Chun Ting, but produced a stirring fightback to win 3-2.

"I must admit I was nervous before the match. Wong has been in such good form recently and I just tried to do my best," said Chew (left).

Gao Ning won his two matches against Jiang Tianyi and Tang Peng to make up for Yang Zi's defeat by Tang.

However, Singapore were then beaten by a lower-ranked team, when they lost 3-2 to world No. 17 Denmark.

While Gao beat Kasper Sternberg and Michael Maze, Chew lost both singles to the Danish duo.

The form of world No. 75 Yang Zi is a worry, after he lost to Jonathan Groth - it was his fourth successive straight-set defeat in Tokyo.

The men have it all to do if they are to make it to the Round of 16.

A win against world No. 9 Croatia today will ensure they qualify as the second-best team from Group B.

They can still progress as the third-best team, but it would require a favourable result from the match between Hong Kong and Denmark.