Glasgow, July 29, 2014: Singapore Secures Double Team Gold, Singapore has secured the Commonwealth Games Women’s and Men’s Teams gold for the fourth consecutive time in Glasgow, Scotland, since table tennis was introduced into the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
The Singapore Women’s team, consisting of FENG Tianwei, YU Mengyu and LIN Ye, (Isabelle LI and ZHOU Yihan on the bench) easily accounted for their Malaysian rivals 3-0 in the final.
YU Mengyu gave Singapore, the 2010 World Team Champions, the perfect start by beating NG Sock Khim (7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9).
World number four and Olympic bronze medalist FENG Tianwei followed suit by overcoming BEH Lee Wei (11-8, 11-5, 11-4) to give the defending champions and top seeds a two-nil lead against a team that had started as rank outsiders.
Singapore secured the historic gold with a doubles success for LIN Ye and YU Mengyu as they overcame BEH Lee Wei and HO Ying in four games (11-9, 11-13, 11-9, 11-5).
Singapore women’s coach JING Junhong stated after the victory: “I’m proud. The players performed well and to win gold is good for our young players. The result was 3-0 so that was good for me, but it was difficult. The first match was really important for us.
“We always hope to win the gold but it’s not easy. The semi-finals we lost a match but winning the gold is more important for us.
“We have a young team. Compared to the last Commonwealth Games we’ve changed three key players and we’ve got three young players coming together, and it’s a gold medal at a major Games so the future is good for us.”
Australia defeated India in the third/fourth play off to clinch bronze.
The Men’s Team final was not as straight forward for Singapore, as they had to battle past a spirited England team and the 2,500 crowd at the Scotstoun Sports Campus who were fully behind them.
The strong Singaporean team of ZHAN Jian, GAO Ning and LI Hu managed to block out the crowd to defeat England 3-1 to match their female teammates golden performance.
ZHAN Jian was the hero for Singapore as he beat Paul DRINKHALL in the opening match in five games (5-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7, 11-2), before winning the gold for Singapore in the fourth and decisive match by defeating Andrew BAGGALEY (11-4, 11-8, 11-9).
“I’m really happy, winning the gold was not easy; I would like to thank my team mates, my coaches and all the officials”, said a delighted ZHAN Jian.
GAO Ning did not let the team down by beating Liam PITCHFORD (11-9, 13-11, 11-3) in the second singles match, the player against whom he had suffered a surprise defeat four years earlier in New Delhi, at the time the Englishman being only 17 years old.
The one success for England came unexpectedly in the doubles when Andrew BAGGALEY and Paul DRINKHALL combined to beat GAO Ning and LI Hu (8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-3), the pair who had won the Men’s Doubles title at the GAC Group 2012 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Hangzhou and had retained the crown earlier this year in Dubai.
Nigeria capped off a fantastic teams event by defeating India to claim the bronze medal.
All eyes now turn to the Commonwealth Games Singles event, with the qualification for the round of 64 knock out stage starting on Monday 29 July 2014. —- ITTF
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