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Flashback Friday: Li Jiawei beats Croatian to take her first pro title on July 4, 2004

Published on Jul 4, 2014 6:22 PM

SINGAPORE - National paddler Li Jiawei added the United States Open title to her resume on July 4, 2004.

The tournament win in the United States represented a breakthrough for Li.

She had played against former world No. 2 Tamara Boros of Croatia in the finals.

Although Li won the first three game 11-6, 11-7, 11-4, Boros refused to buckle and drew level 8-11, 8-11, 11-13. Li took the decider 11-7.

After spending 18 years in Singapore and boasting an illustrious table tennis career, Li has since decided to hang up her bat for good.

Then aged 31, she announced her retirement from the sport in 2012. She said she would return to Beijing, where her businessman husband Li Chao and Singapore-born son Li Tianrui were.

Originally from Beijing, she arrived in Singapore in May 1996 and made her major Games debut at the SEA Games in August 1999, winning three golds and a bronze.

Li has won more than 50 medals at major Games and regional and world championships. She is also a five-time Sportswoman of the Year winner.

Perhaps the win by Li that Singaporeans recognise the most is the team silver with Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It was Singapore's first Olympic medal in 48 years.