TOKYO • Today at the Tokyo Olympics promises to be a pivotal one for Singapore sports as swimmer Joseph Schooling begins the defence of his 100m butterfly title while paddler Yu Mengyu is within touching distance of silverware.
World No. 47 Yu faces China's top-ranked Chen Meng in the semi-finals of the table tennis women's singles at 10am (Singapore time).
Victory will mean Yu, 31, advances to the gold-medal match at 8pm today and a guaranteed podium spot. Lose, and she heads into the bronze medal play-off.
Schooling, 26, then takes the stage this evening at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
He will be in lane 8 of Heat 5 (starts 6.54pm) and will need to clock a time that is within the top-16 to advance to the semi-finals on Friday morning. There are 59 competitors across eight heats.
While he holds the Olympic record of 50.39 seconds, set at the 2016 Rio Games, his recent form has been indifferent. His best effort this year is a humble 52.93sec while rivals, American Caeleb Dressel and Hungarian Kristof Milak, have been much quicker.
Dressel's best time this year is 49.76sec while Milak's is 50.18sec.
Based on the Tokyo 2020 100m fly entry list, Schooling's qualification time of 51.84sec - set at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines - places him 32nd. His teammate Quah Zheng Wen, at 51.87sec, is one spot behind and will be in Heat 4 (6.51pm).
• The Straits Times will be live blogging both Yu's matches and the 100m fly heats at straitstimes.com.