Yu shines, Feng falters

She is not Singapore's top paddler and has a world ranking of 23 but Yu Mengyu has now added extra mental strength to her armoury as she exceeded expectations to finish third at the table tennis Asian Cup in Wuhan, China.

On Saturday afternoon, the 24-year-old demonstrated her resilience to come from behind and beat North Korea's Ri Myong Sun 4-3 (5-11, 11-5, 9-11, 4-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-3) in the third-place play-off.

Despite falling behind 1-3, the Singaporean refused to cave in.

She went on the offensive against the chopper and stormed back to win the last three sets to secure victory. The triumph was lauded by national women's team head coach Jing Junhong.

Jing said: "In terms of quality, nothing much separated Yu and her opponent, so it was a really hard match.

"But Yu showed that she has matured by coming from behind twice to secure an important victory."

China's Ding Ning - who beat Yu in the semi-finals - won the tournament with a 4-2 victory over compatriot Li Xiaoxia.

With the World Team Table Tennis Championships looming next month in Tokyo, the bronze provides a massive boost to Yu.

Jing added: "The bronze will help her gain confidence."

It was a different story for world No. 7 Feng Tianwei though.

Feng fell 3-4 (5-11, 12-14, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 6-11) to Hong Kong's Lee Ho Ching to end the tournament in a disappointing sixth place. Despite the underwhelming finish, Jing maintains that the 27-year-old has not under-performed.

"Both players actually performed well," Jing said.

"Feng improved as the competition progressed. She has been playing well. Her only issue was morale."

Jing also further expressed her confidence in Feng.

"I believe she can do well in the championship next month. We will be able to restore her confidence by the time the tournament starts."

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