Feng Tianwei's exclusion: Paddler still has much to contribute

It saddens me to hear that Feng Tianwei has been dropped from the national table tennis team ("Feng Tianwei axed from national squad"; last Wednesday).

In her glory days, Feng was heralded as a national hero, having earned honours for Singapore in numerous international competitions.

She was in the team that beat China, "the Great Wall of table tennis", in the 2010 World Team Table Tennis Championships - a feat no other nation was able to emulate.

Although she and the team did poorly at the Rio Olympics, she should not be held solely responsible.

Feng, at 30, has a wealth of experience and can be a great asset to our young team.

Her presence will boost their morale and confidence.

She can still be in the team as a back-up.

Her position as world No. 6 is also something to be reckoned with.

We have invested so much time and money in her. Many countries will surely grab her if she is released from our service.

Chinese players much lower in ranking are valued by other countries, for instance, Luxembourg's Ni Xialian, 53, who is currently ranked 66.

I liken the Singapore Table Tennis Association's actions to that in horse racing: Once a prized horse loses its value, it will be put out to pasture.

The Singapore National Olympic Council and the relevant authorities need to intervene.

The world is watching our actions.

Jeff Tan Hong Liak

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'Feng Tianwei's exclusion: Paddler still has much to contribute'. Print Edition | Subscribe