Channel NewsAsia

Commonwealth Games: Singapore's Feng Tianwei in winning start

Reigning champion Feng Tianwei of Singapore got off to a winning start in the Commonwealth Games women's table tennis singles with a 4-0 win over Nigerian Cecilia Akpan.

GLASGOW: Reigning champion Feng Tianwei of Singapore got off to a winning start in the Commonwealth Games women's table tennis singles with a 4-0 win over Nigerian Cecilia Akpan.

Having already progressed through to the fourth round of the mixed doubles alongside Zhan Jian, Singapore's world number four, Feng beat Akpan, ranked 320 in the world, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4 in the second round.

Feng, 27, who has already won gold in the women's team event, now faces Australia's Zhenhua Dederko in the third round on Thursday, when she begins her women's doubles campaign alongside Yu Mengyu.

Coach Jing Junhong is satisfied with Feng's current form heading into the next phase of the Games. Jing said: "In table tennis it's about different styles and the first game is about understanding the service, spin and how strong and after the first game she got better and better. She's playing ok but we were quite surprised by the Nigerian because her standard was not bad and her serve was difficult."

Feng feels she is growing into the competition and said: "It was good. I'm getting more and more used to it. It is normal to have some pressure playing at a match but I'm getting better and better."

Second seed Yu, ranked 10 in the world, needed five games to beat England's Tin-Tin Ho, 15, while third seed Lin Ye won by the same margin against Megan Phillips of Wales, to progress to the third round.

Yu claims she feels less pressure in the singles. "I haven't played against (Ho) before but we prepared thoroughly for this match and everything went to plan. There's less pressure in the singles events than in the team event because you're playing by yourself."

In the mixed doubles, Feng and Zhan picked up routine 3-0 wins over Ghana's Mareen Adom Amankwaa and Bernard Sam and Malaysia's Lee Wei Beh and Muhd Shakrin Ibrahim.

Gao Ning and Lin are second seeds in the mixed event and after beating Vanuatu's Yoshua Shing and Anolyn Lulu they had a nervous four-game match against Naomi Owen and Stephen Jenkins. The Welsh pair won the first game and were 3-3 in the second only for the Singapore duo to show their extra quality.

"They were class and that's why they came back and beat us in the end. It's just consistency. They do it for longer. We do it for a set and a half and they do it for five sets," said Jenkins. "They knew they could come back, they didn't panic and raised their game rather than being passive. They train six hours a day and it tells in the end."

In the men's doubles, top seeds Gao and Li Hu of Singapore began their campaign with a 3-0 win over Brian Chan Yook Fo and Akhilen Yogarajah of Mauritius in the second round.

Their fellow countrymen, second seeds Yang Zi and Zhan also made a comfortable start with a 3-0 win over Malaysians Chee Feng Leong and Dunley Foo.

There were also victories for English third seeds Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall as well as Indian duo Sharath Kamal Achanta, who won gold in the event four years ago, and Amalraj Anthony Arputharaj in the second round.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia