Friday, August 15, 2008

Feng Tian Wei, Lee Jia Wei and Wang Tian Gu fufilling the dream for Singapore's Olympic medal

Really exciting match between Singapore and South Korea just now. 3 hrs+++ of nerve wrecking ping pong ball action and finally, Singapore won the match! Finally. Yes, finally after such a long time, Singapore is gonna to be guaranteed an Olympics medal of either a gold or silver. The last Olympics medal which Singapore got was years and years ago(even before Singapore became independent), which was a silver medal by Mr Tan Howe Liang in weightlifting. I'm so glad history didn't repeat itself. We were up against South Korea in the last Olympics, competing for the bronze medal and the medal seems so near, but yet, so far. Singapore lost to the Koreans and so, the medal just flew away from our grasp.

First up was Feng Tian Wei who won the match against Dang Ye-seo, scoring 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 . Seems to be quite an easy win especially the last game. Apparently, the Koreans said she was the weakest link in the Singapore team. Dang Ye-seo seems to lose focus during the game.

Li Jia Wei was against Kim Kyung-ah last Olympics in Athens and she lost the match. She's faced with the same situation again this time round in Beijing. And the results were the same... She lost the match. 5-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9. She got the 1st match, then lost the 2nd, got the 3rd, but lost the 4th. So it went on to the crucial 5th match and she was beaten. Nevertheless, it was a really good match. Entertaining. Quite a tight match too.
I could really feel Li Jia Wei's frustration when her attacks were all being returned with ease by the chopper, Kim Kyung-ah. It was so much like the Olympics match in Athens. Kim Kyung-ah seems to chop the table tennis ball with such ease, making Jia Wei lose her patience and making her more frustrated as her attacks didn't seem to be a threat to Kim Kyung-ah.
So in the end, she lost to Kim Kyung-ah after a tough battle.

Then it was the doubles match. Li Jia Wei paired with Wang Yue Gu, playing against Park Mi-young and Kim Kyung-ah (whom Jia Wei lost to earlier). Singapore doubles have never beaten the korean pair before, and the doubles were considered our weakest link. But fortunately, Li Jia Wei didn't let her previous defeat affect her morale and paired well with Wang Yue Gu to get a 3 straight match win, scoring 11-7, 11-6, 11-9.

So thats 2-1 for Singapore. Just 1 more set to win the game.

Next up was Wang Yue Gu who played against Dang Ye-seo (the one who was against Feng Tian Wei in the very first game . Dang Ye-seo seems to play much better this time and managed to win the game at 11-8, 14-12, 11-9. The 1st match was crazy. Dang Ye-seo managed to score 6 points straight, leading to a 6-0 for the Koreans. But Wang Yue Gu fought back and managed end the 1st game at 8-11 even though she lost that game. In the 2nd game, the Korean only manged to secure the game after 5 match points. Really kudos to Wang Yue Gu for the perseverance. Tight match overall.

So this made it to a 2-2. And the last game will determine the winner. Playing the last single match is
Feng Tian Wei and Park Mi-young. Singapore's hope for medal basically depended on Feng Tian Wei now. It was really a nerve wrecking match. Ever single points means alot and the pressure is all on Feng Tian Wei now. Luckily for Singaporeans, Feng Tian Wei was all composed, calm and cool during the match. She's like so different from the other 2 paddlers (Li Jia Wei and Wang Yue Gu) in a way that when she loses a point, she still remained composed and there's not much huge reactions coming from her. She has the patience to play long rally and wait for good opportunities to strike. She managed to grab the 1st game, 11-7. The 2nd game was really tight, with the players just trailing behind each other's score by score. Feng Tian Wei managed to edge out and got 12-10, winning that game. So just 1 more game to win to get the guaranteed medal for Singapore. However the 3rd game wasn't so smooth for Feng Tian Wei and she lost that set, 3-11. She needed just 1 more game... ANd she managed to get it in the 4th game, winning 11-9.

Amazing job by the paddlers especially Feng Tian Wei, the heroine of the game, who manged to win both the singles match. I think she has got a great future ahead since she's only 21 this year. Of course, good job for Li Jia Wei and Wang Yue Gu too in the doubles match and also for putting on such a great battle. Actually I think Li Jia Wei did quite well, considering the huge pressure she had to put up with plus her recent dispute with her formal finance, Ronald Susilo... She was there in Athens in 2004 and she was among the team which gave Singapore hope of a medal, but it didn't happen in the end. So she knows that Singapore is counting on her to get the medal this time round. And she can be considered the most recognized paddler among the female paddlers, so there's alot of pressure she had to bear. The pressure is 1 thing. But I think she could improve on her control of emotions and be more patient too. She's too eager to grab the points sometimes and is not patient enough sometimes.

Anyway, I think the South Koreans team did really well too! Their defense were simply amazing. Really enjoyed watching the game.

Feng Tian Wei

(pic credit to reuters pictures and team singapore website and Olympics site)
P.S I like Singapore's shirt. It looks so comfortable to wear.

Here's some more stuffs on Feng Tian Wei.
Woah, she had beaten China's World number 1, Zhang Yi Ning before.
Raising Star
Promising Star
She's the most promising player we have discovered in the last two years

Apart from her skills with the bat, she is also a very clever player - very disciplined and very knowledgeable. These are all attributes of a top player

Next up is China. They are like the giants in table tennis, but still, there's still chances for Singapore. Jia You!

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