by Simon Daish
Led by the experienced figures of Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu, Singapore is taking the opportunity to field some of their younger stars on the world stage with Koh Kai Xin Pearlyn, Lin Ye and Zhang Wanling also making the trip to Halmstad.
Runner up in 2008 and 2012, Singapore also secured a bronze medal finish in 2014 but it was the 2010 edition of the World Team Championships where they achieved one of the great upsets in the history of the competition.
Against the odds Singapore dethroned top seeds China in the Women’s Team final with Feng Tianwei beating up-and-coming talents at the time Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen in dramatic style.
However, it hasn’t all been great news for Team Singapore: Considered as major contenders for silverware but at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships Singapore failed to negotiate its opening match against DPR Korea and also missed out on a Women’s Team bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.
The disappointments of 2016 were quickly addressed with the Singapore Table Tennis Association deciding to implement more of the country’s younger generation into the fold.
Singapore were restricted to eighth position at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships. So far this year a quarter-finals exit at the 2018 ITTF Team World Cup in February and more recently at the 2018 Commonwealth Games a silver medal finish was the best the team could muster but with star player Feng Tianwei included in the side for the 2018 World Team Championships it’s difficult to discount Singapore from the medals race.
The odds will be stacked heavily against Singapore in Halmstad but that’s the beauty of sport, you can never rule out a moment of magic just like when the Singapore team won gold in eight years ago in Moscow.