Singapore women paddlers thrash India
The Singapore women’s table tennis team beat India 3-0 in a Group A encounter at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden, on Monday (April 30) to avenge their Commonwealth Games team final loss on the Gold Coast last month.
Feng Tianwei beat Madhurika Patkar 3-0 (12-10, 12-10, 11-3) to give the Republic the lead, before Yu Mengyu doubled the advantage when she outlasted Manika Batra 3-2 (12-10, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8) in the second match.
Lin Ye scored the winning point when she beat Mouma Das 3-0 (11-8, 11-2, 11-5) in the third match.
Inspired by world No. 58 Batra, India shocked Singapore 3-1 in the team final at the April 4-15 Commonwealth Games.
It was the first time Singapore did not win the women’s team gold since the sport was introduced to the Games in 2002. Batra also beat Yu and Feng en route to winning the women’s singles gold.
However, there were notable differences between the Commonwealth Games and the World Team Championships, both in terms of the format and the composition of the Singapore teams.
For the Gold Coast Games, the team competition comprised four singles matches and a doubles tie, but the World Team event’s format consists of five singles matches.
Also, the Republic were represented by Feng, Yu, Lin, Zhou Yihan and Zhang Wanling at the quadrennial Games, but Zhou, 24, was replaced by unranked teenager Pearlyn Koh, 16, in Sweden.
Zhou is not eligible for the World Team Championships, while China-born Lin, 22, is representing the Republic at the event for the first time she became a Singapore citizen in 2013, due to International Table Tennis Federation’s regulations on naturalised citizens representing their new nations.
Players who are under 15 when they change nationalities will not be eligible for the World Championships, World Cup and World Team Cup competitions for three years.
For players between 15 and 17 years of age, the sit-out period is five years, while those aged between 18 and 20 will have to wait seven years.
Paddlers who are 21 and above when they convert their nationalities will not be eligible at all.
The rules do not apply for major Games like the Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the SEA Games.
On Sunday, Singapore had defeated Sweden 3-2 and Russia 3-0, and will meet China on Tuesday. The men, however, lost 0-3 to Taiwan and 2-3 to Belgium, and will face Belarus on Tuesday.