Zhan to call it a day owing to bad elbow

Veteran Zhan Jian is keen on being part of the national coaching team after he recovers.
Veteran Zhan Jian is keen on being part of the national coaching team after he recovers.ST FILE PHOTO

Singapore table tennis player Zhan Jian will retire from the national team on Aug 31 after a storied five-year spell competing in the red and white colours of his adopted country.

The Hubei native, who was recruited by the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) in 2010 and made his debut a year later, is hanging up his bat after failing to recover from a persistent elbow injury.

Said the 33-year-old: "It has been a great sporting journey and I would like to thank Singapore for giving me so many opportunities. I would also like to thank STTA for nurturing and supporting me.

"Last but not least, special thanks to my fellow Singaporeans, team-mates, coaches, and fans who have supported me throughout these years."

The STTA said that, as Zhan has indicated his interest to be part of the national coaching team, it will keep him in mind for any suitable positions. However, his immediate focus is to recover from his injuries.

His achievements include winning four golds - singles, team, doubles, and mixed doubles - at the 2013 Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships in New Delhi.

That same year, he won the men's singles and was a member of the victorious team at the SEA Games in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. A year later, he repeated that feat at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

His injury prevented him from playing in June's home SEA Games.

Along with Gao Ning and Yang Zi, he was part of the men's team who reached the quarter-finals of the 2012 London Olympics, before they were eliminated by eventual champions China. Nevertheless, it was the Republic's best finish at the Olympic men's team competition.

STTA president and Sembawang GRC MP Ellen Lee said: "The STTA would like to take this opportunity to thank Zhan Jian for his dedication and commitment to excellence in table tennis that have brought about much glory to Singapore and enhanced the sport among younger Singaporeans who aspire to be like him.

"Zhan Jian has shown great dedication and passion for his sport and is a true inspiration for all Singaporeans."

Chua Siang Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'Zhan to call it a day owing to bad elbow'. Print Edition | Subscribe