Table tennis: Feng wins twice as S'pore women brush aside Belarus before facing Poland

Feng Tianwei in action at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur.
Feng Tianwei in action at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

KUALA LUMPUR - Feng Tianwei and Co. stayed on course to top their group when they easily dispatched Belarus on day two of the World Team Table Tennis Championships.

Feng, who had struggled in the lead-up to the tournament, looked almost at her best as she clinically notched two points for the Republic. The world No. 8 beat Aleksandra Privalova 11-2, 11-3, 11-2 in under 15 minutes in the first singles, then defeated right-handed chopper Viktoria Pavlovich 11-4, 11-5, 11-1 for the deciding fourth singles.

Yu Mengyu, building on her decisive fifth singles win over Ukraine on Sunday (Feb 28), also defeated Pavlovich in the second singles 12-10, 11-5, 11-5.

Yee Herng Hwee, in her first world team championships match, almost scored an upset against Daria Trigolos but lost in five games (11-9, 3-11, 11-6, 4-11, 5-11).

Feng said: "After (Sunday's) battles, today felt much smoother. I played better, was more relaxed and I think I really gained a lot from the first two matches."

She also praised Herng Hwee. "Winning and losing is not the most important for the younger ones, it's about playing at your best, which she did. I thought she did really well."

The women play Poland tomorrow (March 1), before ending the group stage with a clash against third seeds Netherlands the next day.

The men lost both their matches against Japan (1-3) and Portugal (0-3), but Pang Xue Jie, ranked 334th in the world, provided the highlight for the Republic.

The 22-year-old, who was not expected to feature much at the tournament, stunned Japan's world No. 14 Koki Niwa 11-4, 2-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-8 in the first singles.

However, his efforts were not enough to prevent Singapore from losing 1-3.

Yang Zi lost to world No. 20 Yuya Oshima 7-11, 14-12, 12-10, 8-11, 4-11 in the second singles, then lost the deciding fourth singles to Niwa (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-3).

Chew fell to world No. 24 Maharu Yoshimura 11-9, 12-14, 4-11, 11-6, 9-11 i nthe third singles.