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Olympic Games: Feng Tianwei, reasons to celebrate

Tuesday 22 June

Silver medallist in the women’s team event in 2008 in Beijing, four years later in London, team and singles bronze medallist; now on Wednesday 31st August 2020 could Singapore’s Feng Tianwei have more than one reason to celebrate?

Feng Tianwei once again leads Singapore

At the Tokyo Olympic Games, it is the rest day, the medals in the individual events will have been decided; moreover, it will be her 35th birthday.

In Beijing, Feng Tianwei took Singapore to new heights; supported by Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu, she was the mainstay of the success in the women’s team event.

Notably she lost just one match, that being in the final when confronting China; she was beaten by Zhang Yining. In fact, Zhang Yining was the only player in the whole tournament to beat Feng Tianwei; later the champion elect ended her progress in the women’s singles quarter-finals.

Defeat but standing on the second step of the podium was a major achievement, the contest in which Feng Tianwei excelled being the semi-final 3-2 win against the Korea Republic, when she accounted for both Dang Yeseo and Kim Kyungah.

Fast forward to London in 2012, the end result was bronze in both the women’s singles and women’s team events. A semi-final defeat in the women’s singles event at the hands of China’s Ding Ning was followed by a bronze medal success in opposition to Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa.

Later in the women’s team event, it was a semi-final defeat against Japan, Feng Tianwei losing to Ai Fukuhara before the third step of the podium was reserved, following a 3-0 win in opposition to the Korea Republic.

Alas at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, there was no similar success; Japan proved the nemesis. In the women’s singles, as in London, Feng Tianwei lost to Ai Fukuhara, the departure being in the quarter-final round; in the women’s team event, after a semi-final defeat at the hands of China, a 3-1 defeat was experienced when facing Japan.

Notably Feng Tianwei lost to Kasumi Ishikawa, the player she had beaten in the bronze medal women’s singles match in London, before also experiencing defeat at the hands of Mima Ito.

Now, in Tokyo can Feng Tianwei enjoy the fortunes of Beijing and London; could it be her swansong? Whatever the outcome, Feng Tianwei has set a standard for future generations, her contribution to the status of the sport in Singapore.


Editor: Ian Marshall

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