Olympics: Singapore squeeze past South Koreans 3-2 in women's table tennis team q-finals, China up next in semis

Yu Mengyu and Zhou Yihan in action against South Korea during the women's team quarter-final.
Yu Mengyu and Zhou Yihan in action against South Korea during the women's team quarter-final.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

RIO DE JANEIRO - Summoning the fighting spirit displayed by fellow Team Singapore athlete Joseph Schooling the night before, the Republic's women's table tennis team claimed a dramatic 3-2 quarter-final win over South Korea on Saturday morning in Brazil.

World No. 4 Feng Tianwei played a decisive role in the come-from-behind victory at the Riocentro Pavilion 3. The national captain won both her singles ties, bookending the best-of-five match to send fourth-seeded Singapore into a last four clash against powerhouses China, who strolled to a 3-0 win over North Korea in the earlier match.

Feng got Singapore on the scoreboard with a 3-0 win over Suh Hyo Won but 11th ranked Jeon Ji Hee level the scores when she dispatched Singapore's Yu Mengyu 3-1 in the next tie.

Yu, ranked 13 in the world, then partnered Zhou Yihan in the doubles match but despite a commendable effort, they lost 7-11, 4-11, 11-4, 12-10, 7-11 to Jeon and team-mate and world No. 26 Yang Ha Eun in a gripping 40-minute encounter.

The drama continued as world No. 32 Zhou stunned Shu, ranked 14 spots higher, with 3-0 performance to restore parity against the seventh-seeded Koreans.

Facing world No. 26 Yang in the deciding tie, Feng prevailed 11-3, 9-11, 16-14, 11-4 to ensure Singapore remains in the medal hunt and extended a winning record over the Koreans at the Olympics.

 

The Republic had beaten the Koreans in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 en route to a silver and bronze medal respectively.

Team SG will now play China in the semi-finals on Monday (Aug 15) at 9pm Singapore time.