by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The key figure is Feng Tianwei; she was instrumental in Singapore quite sensationally beating China to be crowned world champions in Moscow in 2010, when she beat both Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen to pave the way for an unprecedented success; that result is now part of the folklore of sport.
Equally, she was crucial to Singapore’s silver medal in the Women’s Team event at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and four years later bronze in London; furthermore, in England’s capital city, she secured the same colour in the Women’s Singles event.
A host of further medals at world title and continental events can be added, the conclusion is that she is world class; the accolade is endorsed by the fact that she was ranked no.2 in the world from April to September 2010 and in August 2011.
Somewhat at the other end of the experience scale Zhang Wanling, a member of the Singaporean outfit earlier this year at the ITTF Team World Cup in London; only 18 years old, she is very much in Gold Coast to learn.
Pertinently, the other four members are now seasoned competitors, all like Feng Tianwei have ITTF World Tour titles to their credit. Feng Tianwei leads the list by a mile; she has nine ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles titles to her name plus in 2010 in Seoul she won at the Grand Finals.
The record overshadows her colleagues but they are most worthy of note. Yu Mengyu won the Women’s Singles title in India in 2009, whilst both Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan have each won three Under 21 Women’s Singles titles in their locker. Notably two further such titles can be added to the record of Lin Ye. She won at the Grand Finals in 2013 in Dubai and in 2015 in Lisbon, a feat Yu Mengyu achieved in 2009 in Macao.
It is a quite awesome line up, no team can compare; in Gold Coast, once again, they are odds on favourites.