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Paddlers Give A Tough Fight At World Championships

Photo Credit: Singapore Table Tennis Association's Facebook Page

Past student-athlete and 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medallist Koen Pang Yew En had a promising start at the World Table Tennis Championships held from 23 to 29 November 2021 in Houston, United States, when he won formidable opponents. He first beat Italy's world No. 163 Leonardo Mutti 4-1 in the first round to set up a round against higher-ranked 27-year-old Brazilian Gustavo Tsuboi. The 19-year-old Koen made headlines when he upset the 38th-ranked 4-2 to reach the last 32. His win meant that he had to meet 40-year-old Timo Boll in the round of 32, but lost to the former World No. 1 4-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5) in the Men’s Singles.

Koen also paired up with Lin Ye for the Mixed Doubles, where the 68th-ranked duo overcame Egypt’s World No. 23 team Yousra Helmy and Khalid Assar in the round of 64. They continued their strong performance against Turkish duo Sibel Altinkaya and Ibrahim Gunduz with a 3-2 (11-7, 11-13, 11-7, 10-12, 12-10) win to book their spot in the round of 16. However, the pair were unable to overcome the prowess of the World No. 2 Taiwanese duo Lin Yun-ju and Cheng I-ching in all the rounds played.

Alumna Goi Rui Xuan and extended Diploma in Business Studies student-athlete Wong Xin Ru also participated in the Women’s Doubles. The pair, who are ranked 69th , had a comfortable win against Madhurika Patkar and Sutirtha Mukherjee in the round of 64. The Singaporean duo thrashed India’s 103rd-ranked pair 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, 11-3) before they lost 0-3 (6-11, 6-11, 0-11) to Germany's World No. 18 Sabine Winter and Nina Mittelham in the round of 32.

Both of them also competed in the Women’s Singles at the world championships. 189th -ranked Xin Ru bowed out on the first day itself after losing 1-4 (6-11, 14-16, 12-14, 11-8, 9-11) to Chinese Taipei's world No. 86 Liu Hsing-yin. Rui Xuan, who is ranked World No. 193, ended her run after going against Thailand’s 39th-ranked Suthasini Sawettabut in the round of 64 by losing 4-1 (11-8, 11-7, 11-5, 11-13, 11-5) to her.

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