Schools table tennis match spotlights national selection row

On paper, it was just an inter-school table tennis match.

But Thursday's match-up between Raffles Institution (RI) and the Singapore Sports School (SSP) held much greater significance when RI scored a 3-2 victory.

Set against the backdrop of a selection row between the members of the national youth team - some of whom play for RI - and those from the SSP's top table tennis programme, the win could lend some weight to calls for a more open selection process ahead of August's Asian Youth Games and next year's Youth Olympics.

Earlier this month, the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) had nominated two players from the Sports School's School Within A School (SWS) scheme for the Asian Youth Games.

Coming hot on the heels of earlier unhappiness over the Youth Olympics selection, the move quickly drew the wrath of parents of the national youth team's paddlers, who felt that the selection processes favoured those in the SWS programme.

The STTA countered that SWS student-athletes were in an environment more suited to excelling in sport.