Singapore settle for silver; first Olympic medal since independence

Story by Dawn Yip

Peking University Gymnasium, Sunday, 17 August 2008 – China showed everyone why they are the reigning world table tennis champions, routing Singapore 3-0 in the inaugural Olympic women's team final, a best-of-five-matches contest.

The first match saw world number nine Feng Tian Wei of Singapore pitted against fifth-ranked Wang Nan. Feng won the first game 11-9, but any hope Singapore held of a victory quickly dissipated as Wang dispatched Feng in the subsequent three games 11-3, 11-8, 11-6.

The second match went much the same way, with Singapore's Li Jia Wei winning her first game 11-9, before bowing out to world number one Zhang Yi Ning 3-11, 4-11, 7-11.

It was up to doubles pair Li Jia Wei and Wang Yue Gu to keep the competition alive in the third match, but China's Guo Yue and Zhang Yi Ning were simply too strong, overcoming Li and Wang in straight games 11-8, 11-5, 11-6.

The Singapore team's loss to China does not detract from its achievement of a silver medal, the Republic's first Olympic medal since independence. The three team members received their medals from a beaming Ng Ser Miang, Executive Board Member of the International Olympic Council.

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8 comments

  1. Pingback: So what’s next for Singapore table tennis after Olympic success?

  2. Dick Yip

    It is 48 years ago and not 43 !
    When Tan Howe Liang won the Silver Medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics,
    he was representing the island-state of SINGAPORE…,not Malaya and definitely not Britain! The issue of when Singapore was an independent country (1965) has nothing to do with the status of Tan Howe Liang at the time of 1960. He was still a S’porean then and competed under the official delagation called the SINGAPORE Team.

  3. dazz

    Actually it was 43 years , because we were granted independence only in 1965. 1960 we were only granted self government by the British.

  4. Pingback: Beijing Olympics update: Yang Zi, Feng Tianwei and Li Jiawei qualify for next round in table tennis singles event

  5. WanQing

    Erm.. excuse me is 48 years btw. I actually think that Singaporeans should also have the same mentality as China which is ” We Are The Best.We Can’t Possibly Lose ” anyway is already very good that at least we won a gold. Rock on Team Singapore!

  6. Dick Yip

    As a Singaporean, I was mighty proud to see our SINGAPORE flag being hoisted up during the medal presentation ceremony beamed worldwide. This was only the 2nd time in Olympic history it has happened. Certainly, I would be in 7th heaven if the Majulah S’pura anthem was playing. But that reality would have to wait…hopefully the day will come soon in my lifetime and not my great grandchilren’s time!
    As for our Olympic heroines and coaches…we warmly Congratulate you all. It is no small achievement…58 years of WAITING, almost till the cows came home.
    Now let’s celebrate as a people, as a nation.
    The govt can take the lead. Perhaps to further inspire our younger sporting hopefuls and get the whole country behind them, govt can organise a Victory Road Tour..for the Team,…etc.
    Or declare a one off ” half day” to celebrate.

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