Yang Zi retires
Former national paddler to join parents' academy here to groom young talent
A persistent neck injury has forced national paddler Yang Zi to hang up his table tennis bat.
The 32-year-old announced his retirement yesterday in a statement released by the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA).
"Unfortunately, my neck has been degenerating and I have undergone rehabilitation for several months now but there is still no improvement, so I am left with no choice but to retire from professional table tennis," said Yang Zi.
"While I'm disappointed that my table tennis career has come to an end, I am excited about what lies ahead.
"I have recently completed the ITTF coaching course and I will be joining my parents' table tennis academy to help Singapore groom more young talents."
Yang Zi joined the STTA under the Foreign Talent Scheme in 2003 and became a citizen two years later.
As a singles player, he achieved his highest world ranking of 21st in January 2008.
Perhaps his most notable achievement was partnering Gao Ning to a doubles gold medal at the 2012 Asian Championships in Macau. It was Singapore's first title at the biennial tournament since 1954, when Loh Heng Chew and Poon Weng Hoe struck gold on home soil.
Yang Zi added a mixed doubles silver at the 2015 Asian Championships.
SEA GAMES MEDALLIST
He is also a multiple South-east Asia (SEA) Games gold medallist, winning gold in the team and mixed doubles events when the biennial Games were held in Singapore two years ago.
At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India, Yang Zi clinched three gold medals in the team, singles and mixed doubles and one silver in the men's doubles.
He added a team gold and a doubles bronze in Glasgow, Scotland, four years later.
A two-time Olympian (2008 and 2012), he was part of the men's team which finished in the top eight at the London Games.
Ellen Lee, president of the STTA, thanked Yang Zi for his years of solid service.
She said: "While he will not be playing for Singapore any more, he will be contributing to Singapore by grooming young paddlers in his parents' table tennis academy. "