Table tennis: Feng Tianwei earns $27,000 and bronze medal at Women's World Cup

A photo taken on Aug 30, 2018, shows Singapore’s Feng Tianwei in action against Pakistan’s Aisha Iqbal Ansari (not pictured) in table tennis women’s singles round of 32 at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta.
A photo taken on Aug 30, 2018, shows Singapore’s Feng Tianwei in action against Pakistan’s Aisha Iqbal Ansari (not pictured) in table tennis women’s singles round of 32 at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Republic's top paddler Feng Tianwei's resurgence continued with a third-place finish at the Women's World Cup at the Olympic Square, Sichuan Provincial Gymnasium in Chengdu, China.

On Sunday (Oct 20), the 33-year-old beat American qualifier Lily Zhang 4-1 (11-6, 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 15-13) in the playoff match to equal her best finish at the event, which she previously attained in 2008, 2013 and 2016.

Against an experienced opponent who has captured three Olympic medals, world No. 49 Zhang had no answer to Feng's ferocious forehands earlier on in their encounter as the Singaporean raced to a 3-0 lead.

However, the 23-year-old worked her way back into the match to take the fourth game and was up 10-8 in the fifth before Feng staged her own fightback, before eventually sealing the match on her third match point after almost 50 minutes and picking up a cheque for US$20,000 ($27,300).

Feng said: "I am very satisfied with my performance here. Actually my goal was to reach the top eight, but now I have brought home the bronze medal. I am very happy. This is my first time playing against Lily. Today she posed a big threat. She is an outstanding player. I know she is a top student as well. It is not easy for her to achieve this high level.”

World No. 12 Feng has been in fine form of late as she had also beaten China's world No. 1 Chen Meng at the German Open earlier in October.

 

At the Women's World Cup, she swept Romania's world No. 17 Bernadette Szocs 4-0 and beat Japan's world No. 8 Kasumi Ishikawa 4-3 to reach the semi-finals, where she led China's world No. 3 Zhu Yuling 2-1 before losing 4-2.

In the all-Chinese final, fifth ranked Liu Shiwen captured her fifth World Cup by beating her compatriot Zhu 4-2 (4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6, 3-11, 11-9).