India end Singapore's women paddlers’ winning run
Singapore miss out on Commonwealth Games team gold for the first time
Singapore's perfect record in the Commonwealth Games women's table tennis team event ended yesterday after a shock 3-1 defeat by India in the final.
Before the loss at Oxenford Studios on the Gold Coast, the Republic had won the women's team gold in every edition since the sport was introduced in Manchester in 2002.
Singapore had cruised through the earlier stages of the competition, winning all their matches.
The paddlers seemed en route to their fifth women's team gold medal, but India had other plans.
Yesterday's gold medal match was a repeat of the 2010 final which India lost 3-0, the only other time they reached that stage.
But in Australia, India banished all memories of that defeat and deserved their first gold in the event.
They got off to a great start after world No. 58 Manika Batra beat world No. 4 Feng Tianwei 3-2 (11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7) in the opener.
Singapore's top-ranked player struggled to adapt to the Indian's style, losing the first set before finding her feet and taking a 2-1 lead.
But 22-year-old Batra refused to crumble, taking the next two sets and the match.
Singapore's world No. 50 Yu Mengyu also got off to a shaky start in the second singles against India's 112nd-ranked Madhurika Patkar, but fought back to rescue a point for the Republic with a 3-0 (13-11, 11-2, 11-6) win.
But India regained the initiative in the first doubles when Yu and Zhou Yihan came up against and Madhurika.
The Singaporean pair succumbed 3-1 (11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7) to the energetic and cohesive Indian pair.
It was then left to Batra to cap off the victory with a composed display that saw her comfortably win the third singles against world No. 100 Zhou 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-7).
Upon sealing the gold medal, the Indian screamed in delight and punched her hands in the air in celebration.
Singapore Table Tennis Association high-performance senior manager Eddy Tay believes the pressure got the better of the Singapore team.
He said: "Tianwei's loss in the first match affected the team.
"The Indian player Manika played very well and our players did not play to their usual level."
But Tay has faith that the paddlers will be able to bounce back from this defeat and use it to spur them on in the singles competition, which starts tomorrow.
He said: "We will have meetings to analyse the loss before the individual events.
"I have confidence that our girls can bounce back."
Singaporeans in action today
Singaporeans in action today
Men's team semi-finals
- Singapore v India (7.30am, bronze play-off 2pm, final 4.30pm)
Mixed team bronze play-off
- Singapore v England (9am)
- Singapore v Rwanda (1pm)
Men's 10m air pistol
- Gai Bin, Poh Yu Hao (prelims from 7am, final at 10am)
Women's 10m air rifle
- Martina Veloso, Tessa Neo (prelims from 9am, final at 11.30am)
Men's 50m freestyle
- Darren Lim ( heats from 9am, semis from 6.30pm)
Men's para S7 50m freestyle
- Toh Wei Soong (heats from 9.30am, final from 6pm)
Men's team of fours
- Singapore v England (3pm)