20 Mar 2017

The defending champion in the Olympic Women’s Team event will be facing one of their strongest opponents in the competition in a highly expected penultimate round battle a few hours from now. Feng Tianwei and company admitted that they are motivated to win but on the other hand, China's confidence is as solid as their Great Wall.

By Henry Chen 

Top eight teams in the women’s division battled for their seats for the penultimate round in day 8 of the Olympic table tennis competition. In the upper half of the draw, Singapore was served with a challenging encounter against the Republic of Korea.

Singapore against Republic of Korea in the Women’s Team quarterfinals. (Photo by ITTFWorld)

From a 1-2 deficit, Singapore fought back in the battle and posted a wonderful recovery, concluding matters in 3-2. Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu, after the interview, said that one of their reasons for their confidence was from the Olympic victory of their compatriot Joseph Isaac Schooling in the 100 meter butterfly swimming final.

“I watched Schooling’s competition last night. We all felt confident from it. He gave us the motivation to help us feel we can win the competition,” Feng Tianwei said. “I am very excited because Schooling won a gold medal for Singapore. I hope I can also win a medal for my country,” added Yu Mengyu.

Singapore must maintain such confidence and determination if they really want to duplicate Schooling’s achievement, as they will be facing a much stronger opponent in the next round, the Chinese Women’s Team. This is one of the most highly anticipated battles in this year’s Olympic Games.

Feng Tianwei scored two points for Singapore in the Women’s Team quarterfinals. (Photo by ITTFWorld)

Who can not forget what happened in the 2010 Moscow World Team Championships where Singapore upset the Chinese Team for the gold. After which, Feng Tianwei has successfully maintained her threat to the Chinese players specifically Liu Shiwen who is also playing for China this year.

Liu Shiwen said that this Olympic Games is a very precious opportunity for her and she will not take it for granted.

“I have trained a lot and finally I can really play. This is the time that I should strive and fight for my team and at the same time, the time to prove myself. Therefore I will cherish every match in the competition,” Liu Shiwen said.

Meanwhile, Kong Linghui also has confidence not just for Liu Shiwen but also for his whole team.

“There were some things that I am worried about Liu Shiwen before. But I believe that she doesn’t have problems. She is ranked first in the world. There are also two Grand Slam champions with her. We do a very complete preparation. There should be confidence,” concluded Kong Linghui.

Ding Ning & Liu Shiwen partnered for the Doubles in the Olympic Team competition. (ITTFWorld)

The semifinal match between China and Singapore will take place on August 15, 10:00 local time. For results and live updates, check here.

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