Table tennis: Yu gives Singapore women win over Ukraine to keep medal hopes alive

Singapore paddlers Feng Tianwei (left) and Yu Mengyu.
Singapore paddlers Feng Tianwei (left) and Yu Mengyu. PHOTOS: ZAOBAO

KUALA LUMPUR - The Singapore women's table tennis team made it two wins in two on day one of the World Team Table Tennis Championships to keep their medal hopes alive.

But it was not without drama, for they were held all the way to the fifth singles by Ukraine.

After a see-saw battle, world No. 34 Yu Mengyu eventually won the decider against Ukraine's Margaryta Pesotska 9-11, 11-6, 17-15, 11-6.

World No. 8 Feng Tianwei had notched two points for Singapore, winning the first singles against Pesotska 11-8, 3-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, and the fourth singles against world No. 49 Tetyana Bilenko 12-10, 7-11, 10-12, 11-9, 14-12.

Yu had lost to Bilenko 11-13, 9-11, 6-11 earlier in the second singles, while debutante Zhang Wanling fell 7-11, 5-11, 11-8, 9-11 to Ganna Gaponova.

Earlier in the day, the women had opened their campaign with a 3-1 win over France.

Feng started well and saw off world No. 149 Pauline Chasselin 11-3, 11-8, 11-8.

Yu then took the full five games to defeat world No. 97 Carole Grundisch 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4.

Isabelle Li fell to Audrey Zarif 8-11, 11-7, 6-11, 6-11, before Feng sealed the win for the Republic, making light work of Grundisch 11-7, 11-1, 12-10.

The men's team, seeded 22nd, were also in action.

They lost 2-3 to 12th-seed Poland in their opening group game. Yang Zi defeated Wang Zengyi 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, 15-13 in the second singles, while Gao Ning beat Wang 11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 in the fourth singles

But Jakub Dyjas defeated both Gao 11-9, 9-11, 11-13, 11-8, 9-11 and Yang 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 5-11 in the first and last singles. Clarence Chew had lost to Daniel Gorak 2-11, 11-9, 8-11, 3-11 in the third singles.

The men's hopes of matching their quarter-final finish in the last edition was also dealt a blow as Gao suffered a sprained ankle in the rubber game against Dyjas. They play Japan and Portugal on Monday.