SEA Games: Singapore women's team retain table tennis gold after beating Thailand 3-0

Feng Tianwei (second from left) led the women's table tennis team to an easy win over Thailand, continuing a winning streak that started from the 1999 Games, with the exception of 2011 when the team event was not contested. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - The Republic's women's table tennis side led by Feng Tianwei retained gold on Saturday (Aug 26), beating Thailand 3-0 in the SEA Games women's team final.

It continues a winning streak that started from the 1999 edition of the biennial affair, with the exception of the 2011 Games when the team event was not contested.

The men's team, however, was upset by Vietnam in their final after they were beaten 1-3, losing a crown that had been Singapore's since 2003.

With a team that includes three Olympians - one of them a three-time medallist - Singapore were always the favourites for victory in the women's team event.

Feng, the top paddler competing at the Games ranked at world No. 6, got off to a good start by beating Suthasini Sawettabut (No. 57) 7-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-8. It was the second time Feng had gotten the better of her Thai opponent at the Kuala Lumpur Games, having also beaten her en route to winning the singles event.

Suthasini had upset the Singaporean at the last Games in Singapore, when Feng did not win a medal in the singles.

Said Feng: "(Suthasini) played quite differently from what I'm used to in the first game so I wasn't quite able to adapt to it quick enough... we're quite familiar with each (other's playing style).

"Thankfully I did adapt my strategy from the second game. I'm quite happy with how I performed at the end."

Yu Mengyu, who withdrew from the singles to focus on the team event after being troubled by an old injury, took the second point by beating Tamolwan Khetkhuan 11-13, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6.

The world No. 33 then partnered Zhou Yihan to beat Tamolwan and Orawan Paranang in the doubles tie in a dominant 11-7, 11-2, 11-2 win.

Said Yu: "I think we did really well today. Tianwei helped set the momentum from the start and we're really happy."

In the men's team final, Singapore's No. 1 Gao Ning beat Dinh Quang Linh 10-12, 11-0, 11-9, 11-2. But the tie stopped going Singapore's way after that.

Clarence Chew lost his singles match against Nguyen Anh Tu 4-11, 11-6, 9-11, 10-12 and men's doubles champion Pang Xue Jie and Gao could not salvage the result, losing 8-11, 11-4, 14-12, 8-11, 9-11 to Doan Ba Tuan Anh and Dinh.

Nguyen was the hero of the Vietnamese team when he beat Pang 13-11, 11-9, 11-3.

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