SINGAPORE — As part of its renewal process and commitment to nurturing a new generation of paddlers, the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) announced on Thursday (January 13) the promotion of four players from its middle team to the national team.
Izaac Quek, 15, and Lucas Tan, 22, will join the men’s team while Zhou Jingyi, 16, and Ser Lin Qian, 15, have been drafted for the women.
STTA President Ellen Lee said, “Today we introduced a new generation of young players to our national team and STTA will continue to provide the best support to our young talent as we build the next generation. generation of the Singapore team.
“We seek the continued support of our various stakeholders, sponsors, parents, fans and volunteers. Let’s all do our part to support the athletes. Together, we can have a greater impact that will eventually see more Singaporeans on the world stage.”
Quek’s inclusion in the senior squad has been widely expected since the Singapore Sports School student-athlete in April last year became the first local to top the Federation’s Under-15 World Rankings International Table Tennis (ITTF).
The teenager’s foundation was built at STTA’s Bishan Zone Training Center, which he joined at the age of seven. He then rose through the ranks of the association’s junior development team and youth training squad, before being promoted to the mid team in 2020.
Quek said: “It has been my dream to be a member of the national team since I was young. I am honored to serve Singapore in this new position. STTA’s confidence in my abilities means a lot to me.”
He has set a New Year’s resolution by qualifying for the SEA Games from May 12-23, the Commonwealth Games from July 28-August 8 or the Asian Games from September 10-25.
“I look forward to new challenges and opportunities and promise to work hard to bring more sporting glory to Singapore,” he added.
Newly inducted women’s team members Jingyi and Lin Qian will provide a timely boost to the squad as STTA prepares for life after the possible retirements of world No. 9 Feng Tianwei and No. 34 Yu Mengyu rank – both in their thirties.
Feng, who is Singapore’s most decorated Olympian with a silver and two bronze medals, and Yu – who finished fourth at the Tokyo Games, a career high – had previously said the 2020 Olympics would be their last.
However, the pair could still feature in the SEA, Asian and Commonwealth Games this year.
Table tennis’s new blood Jingyi and Lin Qian hope to fill the void when the veterans finally retire.