Stung by defeat at the hands of India four years earlier in the Australian city of Gold Coast, on the early afternoon of Monday 1st August, Singapore won the women’s team event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, thus regaining the title secured in 2014 in Glasgow.
In Birmingham, England’s second city, there was no question that second would be the outcome; in the most impressive manner possible, first place was secured without a single individual match being lost.
The 3-0 margin of victory was the result in every fixture en route to the gold medal contest, in the final it was the same when facing Malaysia, not a hint of charity afforded.
Zeng Jian and Zhou Jingyi gave the champions elect the ideal start by overcoming Ho Ying and Karen Lyne (7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5); Feng Tianwei doubled the advantage when accounting for Alice Chang (11-9, 11-1, 11-7), before Zeng Jian ended matters, beating Ho Ying (11-3, 11-4, 8-11, 11-5).
Success for Singapore and a return to normal service, they have now won the title six times, the only hiccup being four years ago in Gold Coast.
Notably for Feng Tianwei it was her third gold medal in the event; in New Delhi and in Glasgow she had been the guiding hand.
Meanwhile, for Malaysia it was their third medal, in 2010 in New Delhi it was bronze, in 2014 in Glasgow the colour was silver.
“I am very happy and excited to win the title this year. It was a great regret that we could not win the gold medal in 2018 in Gold Coast, winning this time was very important. Except for me we have a very young team; an exceptional performance, I’m very thankful and happy for them.” Feng Tianwei
Zhou Jingyi is 17 years old, Zeng Jian 26 years of age, at the end of August Feng Tianwei will celebrate her 36th birthday.
“In terms of skills, it was not easy but the score-line it may look as though there was disparity, we really prepared thoroughly before coming to the tournament. I hope the younger ones will gain experience and maturity for the next Commonwealth Games but for me I don’t think I will make another appearance. We celebrated the way we did because our national day is fast approaching on August 9th, we love our country.” Feng Tianwei
The swansong for Feng Tianwei, don’t be too sure; in Gold Coast she said that occasion might be farewell!
Runners up spot for Malaysia excelled expectations, in the group stage they had experienced a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Australia, finished in second place and advanced to the quarter-finals where they kept their supporters on the edge of their seats.
They beat India, the defending champions, in a full distance five match contest, before repeating the performance in an equally tense semi-final encounter when confronting Wales.
Gold for Singapore, silver for Malaysia, it was bronze for Australia, one step higher than on home soil in Gold Coast.
The trio formed by Jee Minghyung, Jian Fang Lay and Lin Yangzi proved too strong for the Welsh combination of Charlotte Carey, Anna Hursey and Chloe Thomas; a contest in which the phrase “Table Tennis, For All, For Life” once again rang true.
Jian Fang Lay was a silver medallist the women’s team event at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the first occasion when table tennis first appeared in the quadrennial gathering, Anna Hursey was born just three months before the 2006 Commonwealth Games commenced in Melbourne!
Medals in the women’s team event decided, the bronze and gold medal fixtures in the counterpart men’s team competition will be played on Tuesday 2nd August.