by Simon Daish
Tuesday 25th October 2016 saw the Singapore Table Tennis Association make a shock announcement stating that Feng Tianwei would not have her contract renewed with the national team in a bid to bring more of the country’s younger players into the fold.
However, in the latest development of the saga the President of the Singapore Table Tennis Association Ellen Lee has gone on record to state that an agreement between Feng Tianwei and the national association has been reached.
“She (Feng) knows (what is required) for her participation. The fact that she has gone to the International Table Tennis Federation World Tour Grand Finals (in December 2016) showed that the understanding is there and the new relationship has already started. We want the best for both sides. There has to be trust that we will always do things in good faith”, Ellen Lee.
While Feng Tianwei may still represent Singapore at future events there is still no official confirmation as to the details of the agreement and whether the player will be able to compete in team competitions, a matter that requires a significant amount of thinking before coming to a decision according to the President of the STTA.
“We are still trying to work that out… we also have to protect the interests of our own team. We’ve got to find a balance”, Ellen Lee.
One of Asia’s major sporting events is set to take place later in the year with the 2017 South East Asia Games to be hosted Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August with table tennis being one of the 38 sports to feature at the competition.
The STTA may wish to see a younger group of table tennis players go on to represent the country at team competitions, but secretary general of the Singapore National Olympic Council Chris Chan believes that Feng Tianwei should still be up for consideration for Singapore’s team for the 2017 South East Asia Games if she continues to perform well on the international stage.
“The best players should go. Feng Tianwei may not be in the national squad but she is still training and competing. When we get closer to the SEA Games and if she is still our best paddler, then she should go”, Chris Chan.