Singapore 2018 Asian Games Squad Reveals: No Full Team For Men

STTA announces its 2018 Asian Games squad on 29 July. The women's team will be represented by Yu Mengyu, Lin Ye, Zhou Yihan, Zhang Wanling and Feng Tianwei. Meanwhile, the men will not send a full team to the Games having Gao Ning the only male player on the squad.

Team Singapore is no stranger to the table tennis world. It has been quite competitive in the Asian region and dominates the Southeast Asian regional competitions. The team earned at least a medal at every Asian Games since 2002, including 3 bronze medals (women's singles, women's team and men's doubles) at the 2014 Asian Games. 

However, topping the podium may be challenging for the team this year. With the emergence of Japan (despite mostly their second-string options rather than top players at this Games), Korea, Hong Kong and India (which won over Singapore at the 2018 Commonwealth Games), the women's team might need to go through some tough matches in order to make the podium. 

Similarly, the women's singles field is very competitive. With the Chinese, Chen Meng and Wang Manyu aiming at the top 2 finishing, the bronze medals will be contested among some of the best players in Asia, including Jeon Jihee, Cheng I Ching, Doo Hoi Kem, Lee Ho Ching etc. The delegation has not yet announced the players who will be competing in the women's singles but many predict the top 2 ranked players, Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu are likely to compete in the event.

The Singapore men's team has lost a few significant veteran players in recent years causing the team, for the first time since 2006, not able to send a full team to the Asian Games. According to the Singapore National Olympic Council, Gao Ning, the only male player on the squad, will be competing in the mixed doubles partnering Yu Mengyu, who won 2018 Commonwealth mixed doubles gold with him in Glasgow. However, the 35-year-old has mentioned in an interview that the 2018 Asian Games would be his last Asian Games as an athlete and will pursue a coaching career at the end of 2018. This would be another blow for the team after 2016 Olympian Chen Feng quite the team at 23 years old to look after his aged parents in 2017, Li Hu being axed over disciplinary issues, Yang Zi's retirement due to a neck injury, Pang Xue Jie leaving the team after 2018 WTTC to set up a blockchain-related company and the absence of Clarence Chew Zheyu owing to national service commitments.

The team should realize the value in not only winning medals but in creating generations who can win them in years to come, which is how every other top program operates and the only way they will be able to succeed at the international level. We might not see the Singapore men's team competing in Jakarta, Indonesia. On the other hand, it implies there are opportunities for the young Singaporean talents to fill up spots on the national team.

Sources: STTA

Table tennis competitions at the 2018 Asian Games consists of 5 events, namely, men's team, women's team, men's singles women's singles and mixed doubles touched down at Jakarta, Indonesia, from 26 August to 1 September (subject to change). For more details about table tennis at the 2018 Asian Games click here.

Check the lineups of other teams:
Chinese Taipei
Hong Kong

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