Inthe women’s singles at the German Open, Singapore table tennis star Feng Tianwei, 33, beat the current world number one player Chen Meng 4-0. The match took only 31 minutes last October 11.
Feng beat Chen 11-6, 11-2, 11-4, 11-8, while she is currently ranked 12th in the world.
Before she beat Chen, she won against Manika Batra of India in the round of 32. She got a 4-0 victory there as well.
Up next for Feng is Shan Xiaona from Germany in the quarter finals.
Who is Feng Tianwei?
One of the most decorated Singaporean athletes, she has won three gold medals and several silvers and bronzes from various events since she was competing in 2008.
She was also part of the Singaporean team that beat China in 2010 and nabbed a world title, but despite her decorated career, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
She was dropped from the national squad in 2016, and it became quite an issue with regards to the Singapore Table Tennis Association’s (STTA) on how it handled Feng’s rise to the top.
What happened in 2016 when Feng Tianwei was dropped from the national team?
According to The New Paper, she was dropped on October 25, 2016. According to a release from the STTA, she was dropped because she did not fit in with a rejuventation plan to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Feng was number 6 in the world at the time, and would turn 34 years old when the 2020 Olympics would happen. This was one of the reasons cited in the STTA plan.
Several reasons, however, circulated in the media as to why Feng was dropped from the team. TODAY reported that there was an issue with the prize money that she received in 2015 at the SEA Games. She allegedly refused to pay a share of the winnings to a fund for coaches that amounted to $400. She also allegedly influenced other members to follow her example.
There were also allegations of false claims over food expenses, where Feng had reported written some receipts by hand, which amounted to a few hundred dollars. She allegedly consumed 200 eggs over nine days and ten tins of milk over three days.
Another report got specific with the alleged claims levels against Feng which caused her ouster from the team that time. The New Paper said that aside from the issues with funds and her expenses, Feng also had a lot of problems with coaches and went against the latter’s guidance. The report said that Feng allegedly undermined the moves of her coaches and the STTA leadership during the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics.
She and a teammate named Yu Mengyu asked the association to replace coach Jing Junhong, which caused the latter to be redesignated as chief coach of youth development.
Even STTA’s deputy president at the time, David Sim, had negative sentiments about her and had expressed them on his Facebook account. He allegedly called her “ill-disciplined, disrespectful, and a disgrace to the nation.”
Throughout the media blitz that surrounded her ousting from the Singapore national team, Feng allegedly did not utter a word of criticism towards the STTA.