by Simon Daish
The decision to drop Feng Tianwei from the Singapore National squad came as a surpirse announcement to many table tennis fans. The Singapore Table Tennis Association released a statement on Tuesday 25th October which outlined the country’s focus on developing younger players. It now appears, however, that Feng may not have been completely ruled out of the picture after a joint statement by the STTA and Sport Singapore (SportSG) gave the three-time Olympian their backing to compete in the ITTF World Tour.
Under the regulation 3.08.06 Feng will be eligible to participate at World Tour competitions for Singapore due to her being resident in the territory:
(3.08.06) An Association may nominate a player under its jurisdiction (1.21) to enter any individual events of Open International Championships; such nomination may be indicated in results lists and ITTF publications but does not affect the eligibility of this player according to (3.8.2.)
Another fascinating turn of events has seen the STTA also state that Feng will still be considered as a player for the National Team, “subject to specific terms and conditions being met by both parties.”
Feng is now eligible to remain on the Sports Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) which is aimed to help subsidise the costs of a coaching team among other necessities. The Chief of the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) Toh Boon Yi admits that Feng’s eligibility could have been in danger had she not received the positive news from the STTA, “For the scholarship to continue, it was dependent on the ability for her to continue playing at the highest level of the sport and be in fair consideration for selection to represent Singapore.”
After the most recent announcement was made by the STTA and SportSG, Feng Tianwei gave the following statement:
“I am happy to have the opportunity to continue representing Singapore, and I thank STTA and the HPS Steering Committee for their support” – Feng Tianwei (Singapore).