Feng Tianwei puts worst fears aside as STTA gives nod for international events

Feng has been given the nod to represent Singapore in ITTF World Tour competitions.

Feng Tianwei
Will Feng be able to represent Singapore at 2020 Tokyo Games? Reuters

Singapore paddler Feng Tianwei said she was happy to have the opportunity to continue representing her country in international competitions after the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) confirmed its support on Friday.

STTA's decision to back her participation in International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Circuit comes days after Feng was dropped from the national team on 25 October. The governing body had maintained that it had dropped Feng from the team as she did not "fit their rejuvenation plans" in order to prepare for 2020 Tokyo Games.

Feng's participation in the world tour events will now be subject to terms and conditions met by the paddler and the governing body, according to a joint statement released by the National Sports Association and the STTA, as reported by The New Paper.

The 30-year-old's hopes of representing the Republic in major tournaments like the Olympic Games is also alive as the STTA said in the statement that Feng's chances will be based on selection policies, which will be revealed in the near future.

"I am happy to have the opportunity to continue representing Singapore. And I thank the STTA and the HPS (High Performance Sports) Steering Committee for their support," Feng was quoted as saying by the news portal.

Also, the Singapore athlete will continue to receive the Sports Excellence (Spex) Scholarship, governed by the country's High Performance Sports Steering Committee.

Chief of Singapore Sports Institute,Toh Boon Yi, which handles the Spex programme revealed that Feng satisfied their criteria to be able to avail the scholarship.

"For the scholarship to continue, it was dependant on the ability for her to continue playing at the highest levels of the sport and be in fair consideration for selection to represent Singapore," Toh said.

Notably, Feng is one of the most decorated Olympians from the country as she had won the Women's team silver and bronze medal at the 2008 and 2012 Games, respectively. She also won an individual bronze at the London Olympics.

However, at the 2016 Rio Olympics, her campaign in the Women's singles came to an end in the quarter-final and Team Singapore slipped out of medal contention.