Table-tennnis: Still no Chinese breakthrough for Feng

Table-tennnis: Still no Chinese breakthrough for Feng

After a meek 1-4 semi-final loss, Feng Tianwei's 4-0 Women's World Cup triumph over Hong Kong's Jiang Hujun for bronze might have come across as just consolation.

But a third-place finish was, in truth, a creditable performance from the world No. 4 Singaporean in an event reserved for the best in the business.

The World Cup went, predictably, to a Chinese - as has been the case since the event's inception in 1996. At this year's edition in Kobe, Japan, the recipient was world No. 1 Liu Shiwen.

Chinese dominance is something the Singapore camp is not too pleased about but is also something it continues to struggle to overcome.

The Chinese players are simply in a different league, said national women's table tennis team head coach Jing Junhong.

She told The Straits Times in a phone interview on Monday: "It simply boils down to a question of strength.

"To get to the final, you really can rely only on merit - not luck or anything else," added the former national paddler, noting that Feng's path to the final of top-notch events tends to be halted by stronger opponents.

"Our technical abilities are still slightly below those of the Chinese players," said Jing.

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