SINGAPORE - The Singapore women's table tennis team lost their round of 16 tie against Ukraine 2-3 at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden, on Wednesday (May 2).
World No. 4 Feng Tianwei beat Tetyana Bilenko 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-2) in the first match to give the Republic the lead, but Ganna Gaponova pulled Ukraine level when the defensive specialist beat Yu Mengyu 3-2 (11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8) in the second match.
The Europeans then went ahead when Lin Ye lost 1-3 (9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 6-11) to Margaryta Pesotska in the third match, but Feng pulled Singapore back into the tie when she thrashed Gaponova 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-3).
The 28-year-old Yu, who was carrying a shoulder injury, never looked comfortable against chopper Bilenko in the rubber match, and lost 0-3 (10-12, 9-11, 8-11) to concede the winning point to Ukraine, who will meet No. 2 seeds Japan on Thursday.
Feng and Co reached the quarter-finals at the last edition in 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Singapore men's bowed out of the group stage without a win, following their 0-3 loss to Japan on Wednesday.
The world No. 3 team took the lead in their final Group C tie when teenage sensation Tomokazu Harimoto, 14, beat 35-year-old veteran Gao Ning 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-6) in the first match.
Japan doubled their lead when world No. 11 Jun Mizutani beat Singapore's Ethan Poh, ranked 234th in the world, 3-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-5) in the second match, while world No. 29 Yuya Oshima secured the winning point when he beat unranked 16-year-old Beh Kun Ting 3-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-3) in the third match.
Singapore were the only side in their group without a win and finished last.
Earlier in the competition, Gao and Co lost to Chinese Taipei (0-3), England (0-3), Belgium (2-3), and Belarus (0-3).
The team were also winless in the group stage in Kuala Lumpur.
Singapore will now play the placing matches for the 13th-24th positions, coming up first against India on Thuesday night.