Paddler Yu could face disciplinary action for comments about coach Jing
Table tennis chief Lee blasts player for public assassination of coach Jing
Disgraceful, presumptuous, shocked.
Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) president Ellen Lee was unequivocal when she condemned comments by Yu Mengyu following the Polish Open women's doubles final on Sunday.
And the 26-year-old could face disciplinary action.
Seeded No. 1, Feng Tianwei and Yu lost 3-0 to China's Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling in Warsaw.
Speaking to The Straits Times after the loss, Yu claimed a dispute with national team head coach Jing Junhong had affected her performance in the final.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Lee said: "I was very, very shocked when I saw this while reading the papers today.
"We have to explore (disciplinary actions) because... when you're out for an international competition, as players, you are supposed to abide by certain disciplines.
"As with all national athletes, when you go outside and represent your country, you don't disgrace your country like that."
Yu said after the doubles loss that women's national coach Jing had insisted on guiding her for her women's singles Round of 16 tie against China's world No. 2, Liu Shiwen.
Yu had previously been working with coach Hao Anlin and wanted to continue with the arrangement.
She said she was not told about the change, and Jing eventually relented after team officials and the match umpire stepped in to mediate.
But Lee refuted the player's claim.
"From what I was told, there were three coaches and they already agreed to rotate among themselves and it was not as if she didn't know," said Lee. "Usually the press will call players up for their thoughts after a match, and that's fine with us, but to go and put the blame on her coach as the reason for her loss, I think that's very presumptuous."
The former Member of Parliament, who stepped down after the recent General Election, revealed that Yu had asked for a change of coaches a week before the Polish Open.
"She said she was not improving in her game, and requested for another coach," Lee said. "We said we would evaluate the request, because changing a coach is not that simple.
"Each coach is hired for different purposes and each already has existing duties and responsibilities.
"We have to evaluate... and decide how the change would affect the whole organisation, because we have other players as well.
"I disapprove of airing internal problems, and pursuing a personal request through the media, which I think is not right."
She declined to reveal who Yu had requested as coach, but did say it was not Hao.
Lee will speak with the team after they arrive home from Poland today, and said that it will be "logical" to keep Jing and Yu apart for now.
She said: "What Yu Mengyu has done would have hurt Jing as well, since she has been coaching her for a while now. To have something like that shot at her (Jing) in the open, it is a stab in her heart, I would say."
Hao will coach Feng, Singapore's sole representative, at the Women's World Cup in Japan, which starts on Friday, while Yu is still slated to play in the Swedish Open, which starts on Nov 11.
With the team gearing up for another Olympic challenge in Rio next August, Lee wants to resolve the issue quickly.
She said: "I guess as with any national sports association, personnel differences will surface now and then.
"It is a question of how we manage it in the best interests of the country."
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