Table tennis: Feng in fine form

Table tennis: Feng in fine form

Once again, Feng Tianwei has proven herself to be a scourge of the mighty Chinese table tennis machine.

The paddler claimed her first title of 2015 yesterday, defeating China's world No. 3 Liu Shiwen 4-2 (3-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-1, 12- 10) in the women's singles final to win the Asian Cup crown at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, India.

The 28-year-old had already posted a first win over China's world No. 6 Zhu Yuling in the group stages.

Speaking after her impressive victory, Feng, the world No. 4, said: "I played well today. I didn't expect to win, so this was a pleasant surprise."

This is not the first time Feng has beaten the all-conquering Chinese. In the 2010 "Miracle at Moscow", Feng bagged two crucial points - beating current world No. 1 Ding Ning and Liu - as Singapore stormed to a stunning 3-1 win over China in the final of the World Team Table Tennis Championships.

National women's coach Jing Junhong was pleased with her protege's latest achievement, which also proves Feng has put her knee injury behind her and is going full steam ahead on the road to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

"Tianwei was very calm in the final and she handled many crucial points and shots very well. The pressure was on Shiwen, so Tianwei was more relaxed," said Jing.

Feng added that she is feeling more confident as she keeps racking up the big wins.

She said: "This is going to be a hectic year where we have to fight for ranking points for team and individual events, so we can achieve higher seedings for the Olympics, and try to win another medal for Singapore.

"Ideally, we want to go to Brazil as the best team after China."

This is the first time a Singaporean woman has won the event since its inception in 1983.

Meanwhile, in the men's competition, Singapore's top male paddler Gao Ning finished eighth after going down 4-3 (6-11, 11-7, 14-16, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 4-11) in a thrilling battle with Japan's Koki Niwa.

This article was first published on March 16, 2015.
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