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Old 13th October 2011, 01:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Table Tennis: Singapore's paddlers aim for big rewards at World Cup

Table Tennis: Singapore's paddlers aim for big rewards at World Cup

By Low Lin Fhoong, TODAY
Posted: 13 October 2011 0656 hrs


SINGAPORE: China's table tennis players have won every edition of the Women's World Cup since the inaugural event in Hong Kong in 1996.



Singapore's Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu and Li Jiawei aim to gatecrash the party, when the Volkswagen 2011 Women's World Cup returns to Singapore from Oct 28 to 30.

The five-star tournament will be held at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall and will feature the world's top 19 female players from 13 countries.

Prize money worth a total of US$150,000 (S$191,600) will be on offer.

China will be represented by world No 1 Li Xiaoxia and the reigning world champion, Ding Ning, the world No 2.

Li, 30, is currently ranked No 18 in the world.

The veteran said: "Playing in Singapore, we will see a lot of people supporting us, but there will be a little pressure because the country have high hopes for us."

The Singapore trio bagged the silver medal in the women's team event at the 2008 Olympic Games.

While they lost to the mighty Chinese in the final in Beijing, the Singapore women stunned the world of sports when they pipped China in the world championships last year.

World No 9 Wang said: "For me, a successful World Cup is when we play at home and if I get a medal on home ground I will be very happy.

"I feel more people here like table tennis and I hope through this competition everyone will support us even more and we can promote and expand the sport further."

Other stars that will feature in the tournament include Japan's promising youngster Kasumi Ishikawa (world No 7), countrywoman Ai Fukuhara (No 8), and South Korea's Kim Kyung Ah (No 16).

Singaporean fans have not witnessed Feng, Wang and Li on court against the world's best.

The Republic last hosted the tournament in 2002, when Chinese superstar Zhang Yining took gold after defeating team-mate Li Nan in the final.

Crucially, double the amount of ranking points will also be on offer at the tournament, which will be critical to the Singapore team's goal of recapturing the world No 2 spot from the Japanese.

Last month, Japan's Ishikawa, Fukuhara and Sayaka Hirano (No 12) edged out Singapore for second spot in ITTF's world team rankings.

Earning the No 2 spot is crucial as it would mean the team will be seeded second at next year's Olympics.

The second seeds will avoid a clash with China in the team event until the final in London.

World No 4 Feng, who is eyeing a medal in the team event and singles competition at the London Games, said: "The important thing is to beat Japan ... I have to try to beat every Japanese player that I meet in battle."

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...159045/1/.html

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