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(Team Singapore's Feng Tianwei. Image Credit : WTT)

 

By Pearlyn Koh 

 

For the first time ever, the WTT Grand Smash makes its debut in Singapore! Local fans can expect 13 days of exciting Table Tennis action as the world’s best male and female players compete for US$2 Million at the OCBC Arena, from 7 - 20 March.

Being the host country, a slew of Singaporean players (15) have been awarded wildcards into the prestigious event. And leading the Singapore team is 35-year-old local Table Tennis hero, Feng Tianwei. This is her 2nd time competing before a local crowd in recent months, having last played in the very same arena just last December at the WTT Cup Finals. The world number 9 opens her Singapore Smash campaign against Kuai Man of China.

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TeamSG's Feng Tianwei (Left) at the Women's Main Draw on 9/3/22. Photo Credit : WTT

 

SEA Games Women’s Singles champion Lin Ye will also be competing in the Women’s Singles and Doubles events. The 27-year-old will be up against Georgina Pota of Hungary in the first round of the Women’s Singles. In the duo’s last encounter just last November at the WTT Novo Mesto in Slovenia, it was the Singaporean who triumphed 3-2 after a closely contested battle. Lin Ye also competed in Singles and Doubles action at the last Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

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(Team Singapore's Lin Ye. Image Credit : WTT)

 

To be able to compete in the same arena as the world’s most outstanding players excites local budding talents such as SEA Games Men’s Singles GOLD medallist Koen Pang.

“My current favorite players are Xu Xin of China and Lin Yun-Ju from Chinese Taipei. I like the way they play and I think there is a lot I can learn from them because we have the same playing style as lefties.”

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(Team Singapore's Koen Pang. Photo Credit : STTA)

 

The 19-year-old teenager staged his greatest ever career win, when he caused an upset against Brazil's Gustavo Tsuboi at the World Championships in Houston last year. And at the current Singapore Smash, Koen will be competing in the Men’s Singles as well as Doubles and Mixed Doubles with partners Josh Chua and Lin Ye respectively. In the first round of the Men’s Singles, Koen will face Sathiyan Gnanasekaran of India. This campaign at the OCBC Arena will be truly important for Koen, as he prepares to defend the Gold medal at the SEA Games in Hanoi from mid-May onwards.

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(Team Singapore's Clarence Chew. Image Credit : WTT)

 

Tokyo 2020 Olympian Clarence Chew also expressed his eagerness to compete against higher-ranked players. “I was thrilled to know that the first ever WTT Grand Smash was going to be held in Singapore. I hope to give my best and to enjoy myself on court while putting up a good performance especially in front of our home support,” said the 26 year old paddler. 

Clarence will be up against world number 9 and two-time Olympic gold medallist Xu Xin in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event. The TeamSG star has a busy year ahead as he is expected to feature at the SEA Games, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, over the next 6 months (pending final selection).

Meanwhile, to prepare for the Singapore Smash, Team Singapore players were training and competing in WTT Youth Contender events in Europe, as well as the recently concluded WTT Muscat event held in Oman from 27 Feb - 5 Mar.

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(Team Singapore's Ethan Poh. Photo Credit : WTT)

 

“I’m feeling quite prepared for the Singapore Smash because prior to this tournament, I had competed at WTT Muscat. This is a very high level tournament and I do not want to give myself any pressure. I just hope to do my best and enjoy my game in front of our Singapore fans”, said Ethan Poh.

23 year old Ethan opens his campaign at the WTT Singapore Smash against Kirill Gerassikmenko of Kazakhstan in the Round of 64 of the Men’s Singles event. The TeamSG paddler will also be competing in Doubles action. 

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(Team Singapore's Wong Xin Ru. Image Credit : WTT)

 

Wong Xin Ru also acknowledged their recent stint in Oman. “The WTT Muscat was good preparation for me before the Singapore Smash, as I was able to identify areas for improvement and will work on them timely to be in my best shape for our Grand Smash.”

20 year old Xin Ru will be competing in the Women’s Singles and Doubles event, together with 21-year-old Goi Rui Xuan. The duo, who won bronze at the 2019 SEA Games in Women’s Doubles, will be aiming to put up a good fight against some of the world’s best players at the Singapore Smash.

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(Team Singapore's Goi Rui Xuan. Image Credit : WTT)

 

“As I will be competing with top level players in the world, it will definitely not be easy to win, but I will fight to the best of my ability and focus on one match at a time” said Rui Xuan.

Xin Ru will play against Portugal’s Shao Jieni, while Rui Xuan faces Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tzu in the Round of 64 of the Women’s Singles event.

Be sure to catch the Live action at the OCBC Arena from 11-20 March via Sistic. And for all event and ticketing details, check out go.gov.sg/wttsingaporesmashticket 

Non-ticket holders can also choose to rally and cheer your favourite players by catching the Live broadcasts from 11 Mar onwards on SPOTV (Singtel and StarHub)

 

Singapore Smash (TeamSG) Wildcards

Men’s Singles – MAIN DRAW

1 Chew Zhe Yu Clarence

2 Pang Yew En Koen

3 Quek Yong Izaac

4 Poh Shao Feng Ethan

 

Women’s Singles – MAIN DRAW

1 Zeng Jian

2 Zhou Jingyi

3 Wong Xin Ru

4 Goi Rui Xuan

 

Men’s Doubles – MAIN DRAW

1 Chew Zhe Yu Clarence / Poh Shao Feng Ethan

2 Pang Yew En Koen / Chua Josh Shao Han

3 Beh Kun Ting / Tan Lucas

 

Women’s Doubles – MAIN DRAW

1 Goi Rui Xuan / Wong Xin Ru

2 Zhou Jingyi / Ser Lin Qian

3 Zhang Wanling / Koh Kai Xin Pearlyn

 

Mixed Doubles – MAIN DRAW

1 Pang Yew En Koen / Lin Ye

2 Chew Zhe Yu Clarence / Zeng Jian

 

Event details

Date: 7 to 20 March

Venue: OCBC Arena, Singapore Sports Hub

Tickets: go.gov.sg/wttsingaporesmashticket

Tickets start from $10 for qualifying matches and $18 for main draw matches. All spectators to Singapore Smash 2022 are to abide by the necessary Safe Management Measures. Spectators attending Singapore Smash must be fully vaccinated and submit a negative self-administered ART test result before entry into OCBC Arena. Please visit go.gov.sg/wttsingaporesmashticket for more information.

 

Pearlyn Koh has been playing Table Tennis competitively for 9 years. She’s currently a member of the National Team and had represented Singapore at several major tournaments, including the 2018 Asian Games and World Table Tennis Championships. In 2019, Pearlyn was also the sole Southeast Asian player to enter the Top 16 at the Asian Junior & Cadet Table Tennis Championships. During her free time, Pearlyn enjoys reading and catching up with her friends. 

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