Feng Tianwei loses semi-final, settles for bronze at 2016 ITTF Women's World Cup

Feng lost her semi-final match against 16-year-old Japanese paddler Miu on Sunday.

Feng Tianwei
Feng Tianwei had won the bronze in the 2008 and 2013 editions as well Reuters

Feng Tianwei's hopes of winning her maiden International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Women's World Cup title were crashed when she lost the semi-final clash against Japan's Miu Hirano on 9 October.

The Singapore paddler though defeated Hong Kong's Tie Yana 12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 in the bronze-medal match on Sunday in Philadelphia to take home $15,000.

Feng, the top seed, was primed to clinch the title after top-ranked Chinese paddlers, Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen, pulled out of the annual event due to injuries. The 30-year-old sparked hopes as she kicked off her campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win over Egyptian Dina Meshref.

In the quarter-final on Saturday, the world number six fended off a stiff challenge from Germany paddler Sabine Winter and clinched the tie 11-7, 15-13, 13-11, 11-9 to set up the last-four clash with Miu.

After a confident first game in the semi-final, in which she overpowered her 16-year-old Japanese opponent 11-3, Feng was looking good to progress to the final. However, after conceding two games in the first three, Miu staged a brilliant fightback to take the best-of-seven match 11-3, 6-11, 11-7, 11-13, 9-11, 13-15.

"It has been really tiring, especially playing such a big tournament after the Olympic Games. I have not been training for over a month since Rio," Feng spoke of her disappointing semi-final performance, as quoted by The Straits Times.

The London Olympics bronze-medallist now has three bronze medals in ITTF world cups after having finished third in 2008 and 2013 as well.

Miu eventually went on to win the final against Chinese Taipei's Cheng I-ching 4-0 to become the youngest ITTF Women's world champion.