Table tennis: Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu secure individual slots at Rio Olympics

Yu Mengyu (left) and Gao Ning have each qualified for the singles at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Yu Mengyu (left) and Gao Ning have each qualified for the singles at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. PHOTOS: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) announced on Friday that it has received confirmation from the sport's international governing body that Yu Mengyu and Gao Ning have each qualified for the singles at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Gao, ranked No. 33 and Yu, No. 17, earned their slots based on the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) monthly rankings, published on Thursday. They join Feng Tianwei and Chen Feng, both of whom previously booked their places through the Asian qualifier in Hong Kong last month.

This will be 26-year-old Yu's Olympic debut. In a STTA release, she said: "I'm so happy that my hard work has paid off. I will work hard to prepare for the upcoming Rio Olympics and I assure you that I will do my best for Singapore."

Gao, meanwhile, will be at the quadrennial Games for the third straight time. Said the 33-year-old veteran: "It's a great honour to represent Singapore at the Olympics for the third time. Compared to Beijing and London, I feel that I have a lot more experience under my belt and I do feel more confident.

"I will compete fearlessly and give my best performance at Rio."

The Straits Times understands that the ITTF has yet to confirm team event qualifications and is expected to do so after slots for the individual events are finalised.

The men's team, however, are set to miss the Games after failing to qualify. It will be the first time since the event was added in 2008 that they have missed the cut. They were quarter-finalists at the last Games, losing to eventual champions China.

Feng Tianwei will lead a women's side aiming to win a third straight medal in the team event.