Olympics: S'pore women's table tennis team beat France 3-0, China next in q-finals

TOKYO – Singapore beat France 3-0 in the Olympics table tennis women’s team round of 16 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Monday (Aug 2), and will meet top seeds China in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Despite the one-sided scoreline, there was some drama in between after Yu Mengyu and Lin Ye swept Stephanie Loeuillette and Yuan Jianan in the opening doubles match 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 13-11) with Lin impressing on her Games debut 10 days after the opening ceremony.

However, world No. 9 Feng Tianwei met with stiff resistance in the first singles from Prithika Pavade, who turned 17 on Monday. The teenager is ranked 381 places below Feng but raced to a 2-0 lead.

With the best-of-five format, there is a smaller margin of error and Feng was on the ropes when she was down 6-3 in the fourth game. But she dug deep to eke out a hard-fought win eventually, prevailing 3-2 (8-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-3).

In the second singles, world No. 47 and Tokyo 2020 singles semi-finalist Yu finished off the job as she beat 95th-ranked Yuan 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8).

The Republic clinched silver in this event at the 2008 Beijing Games and a bronze four years later in London. The paddlers did not win a medal at Rio 2016.

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