SINGAPORE - The women's table tennis team, led by world No. 3 Feng Tianwei, were untested through their opening ties at the Asian Table Tennis Championships on Sunday (April 9).
The team topped their group after beating Sri Lanka (3-0) and Mongolia (3-0), and will play in the qualifying knock-out round next to earn a spot in the champions division of the team event.
Feng, 30, playing her first event with the national set-up after her exclusion from the team last October, beat Hansani Kapugeekiyana 11-3, 11-1, 11-2 of Sri Lanka. Her two younger team-mates - Eunice Lim and Tan En Hui - both stepped up to the plate to win their matches too.
Eunice, 17, beat Erandi Warusawithana 11-7, 11-1, 11-5.
En Hui, 17, followed up with a 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 victory over Bandara Rajaguru to finish the tie for Singapore.
Against Mongolia, Feng posted a 11-3, 11-1, 11-3 win over Undram Munkhbat.
Zhang Wanling, 17, beat Doljinzuu Batbayar 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8 before Wong Xin Ru, 16, completed the tie with a 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 win over Bolor-Erdene Batmunkh.
While Wanling has been to the world championships before and Eunice has experience competing at the Asian Championships, it is the biggest tournament yet for the other two local-born paddlers.
Singapore Table Tennis Association senior high performance manager Eddy Tay said: "I thought they would be quite nervous but they handled it quite well."
In the men's team event, Singapore - playing in the champions division - was beaten 2-3 by Chinese Taipei and will play for the fifth to eighth position next.
Gao Ning posted the Republic's two points, beating Liao Cheng-ting 2-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 and Chen Chien-an 11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 11-5.
Pang Xue Jie lost 7-11, 5-11, 7-11 to Chen, then 8-11, 7-11, 5-11 to Liao.
Ethan Poh was beaten 11-4, 13-11, 11-9 by Yang Heng-wei.
The ongoing Asian Championships is held in Wuxi, China, and concludes on April 16.