Zeng Jian wins 5 matches and leads Singapore table tennis medal hopes
BIRMINGHAM - Her day had started at 9.30am and by 8pm, Singapore table tennis player Zeng Jian had played 330 points and won all of her five matches across various events at the Commonwealth Games on Friday (Aug 5).
Despite the long day, the 25-year-old found enough in her reserves to pull off a stunning 4-0 women's singles quarter-final win over India's defending champion Manika Batra on Show Court 2 to progress to the semi-final, where she will face Australia's Liu Yangzi on Saturday.
Zeng, who already has a women's team gold here, told The Straits Times: "Yes, it's very tiring and I just try to go back to my room nearby to lie down and rest as much as I can without sleeping."
She started at the National Exhibition Centre at Show Court 1 with the mixed doubles with Clarence Chew, as they won their round-of-16 match against Malaysia's Wong Qi Shen and Tee Ai Xin 3-0.
By 4.30pm, they had progressed to the semi-finals after beating Australia's Finn Luu and Liu Yangzi 3-0 on Court 6.
In between, Zeng downed Wales' Chloe Thomas Wu Zhang 4-1 in the women's singles round of 16 on Court 4, before shuttling to Show Court 2 at noon to partner Feng Tianwei in their 3-0 women's doubles round-of-32 victory over Nigeria's Ajoke Ojomu and Esther Oribamise.
Similarly, Chew partnered Ethan Poh to beat Canada's Chen Hongtao and Eugene Wang 3-1 in the men's doubles round of 16 match on Court 6, and then edged out Australia's Dillon Chambers 4-3 on Court 5 to advance to the men's singles round of 16, before winning the men's doubles quarter-finals against India's Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty 3-0 on Court 5.
However, his perfect streak ended with a 4-0 men's singles defeat by England's Paul Drinkhall on Show Court 1.
Chew said: "Every match has been very intense here, and after a week of competition, it takes a toll on the concentration. Good rest and recovery, injury management and prevention are important as I try to look forward."
The 26-year-old added that he is combining well with Zeng and they hope to carry their form through to the semi-finals.
Elsewhere, Feng was through to the women's singles quarter-final against Australia's Lay Jian Fang. Wong Xin Ru and Zhou Jingyi also progressed to the women's doubles round of 16, while Izaac Quek made it to the men's singles quarter-finals.