For the first time since 2008, the Singapore women's team failed to reach the final of the World Table Tennis Championships.
They were blitzed 3-0 by mighty China in yesterday's semi-finals in Tokyo.
Singapore's female paddlers finished second, first and second in the last three editions of the biennial competition but had to settle for a bronze this time, as they had no answer against the all-conquering Chinese machine.
Singapore No. 1 and world No. 7 Feng Tianwei started brightly in the first singles, but eventually fell to Li Xiaoxia 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7.
Yu Mengyu was comprehensively beaten by Ding Ning 3-0 (11-6, 11-3, 11-6) and Isabelle Li also fell 3-0 to Zhu Yuling (11-4, 11-7, 11-7) to complete the Chinese whitewash.
Hosts Japan beat Hong Kong in the second semi-final to set up a final clash with China.
With no play-off for third, the Hong Kong women's team and their Singapore counterparts will both be awarded bronze medals.
After the retirement of stalwarts Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu, the Singapore women's team knew they had a mountain to climb in the first semi-final.