KUALA LUMPUR - Singapore's run of picking up a medal at every World Team Table Championships since 2008 ended on Friday when they lost 2-3 to North Korea in the quarter-finals.
They were one win away from a bronze medal, but even with a day's rest, Feng Tianwei and Co. could not summon the strength to see off the competition's ninth seeds at the Malawati Stadium.
Semi-finalists are assured of a bronze medal as there is no third-place play-off.
World No. 34 Yu Mengyu lost to Kim Song I 5-11, 11-8, 11-3, 6-11, 7-11 in the deciding fifth singles.
Thebest-of-five tie had started well for Chen Zhibin's charges.
World No. 8 Feng got Singapore off to a good start. She overcame a shoulder injury to beat two defensive specialists Kim (12-14, 9-11, 14-12, 12-10, 11-8) and Ri Myong Sun (11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10) in the first and third singles respectively.
Down 0-2 against Kim in the first match, Feng sensationally saved three match points in each of the next two games before winning the crucial fifth game.
But Yu, whose form had improved as the competition went along, could not find her groove and lost the second singles 9-11, 9-11, 4-11 to Ri.
Yee Herng Hwee played in the third singles against Ri Mi Gyong and lost 1-11, 6-11, 6-11.
Feng then took to the table for her 12th match of the competition, beating Ri Myong Sun to set Yu up for the deciding fifth singles.
North Korea will face Japan in the semi-finals at 7.30pm.