Olympics: Singapore's Yu Mengyu through to table tennis' 3rd round but Clarence Chew is knocked out

TOKYO – It was a mixed day for Singapore paddlers as Yu Mengyu progressed to the third round of the women’s singles with a convincing win, while debutant Clarence Chew’s brave run came to a halt at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Sunday (July 25).

In the women’s singles, world No. 47 Yu received a bye into the second round and steamrolled past Portgual’s world No. 63 Shao Jieni 4-0 (11-3, 11-2, 11-8, 11-9).

The 31-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals of the women’s singles and team events at Rio 2016, will face world No. 8 Cheng I-ching in the round of 32.

Yu holds a 10-3 head-to-head record against the Taiwanese, including wins in their last four encounters in which she dropped just two games.

Meanwhile, Chew was beaten 4-1 (11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10) by Austria’s world No. 44 Daniel Habesohn in the second round of the men’s singles.

The world No. 186 took the game to his higher-ranked opponent, but Habesohn had answers to most of what the Singaporean threw at him.

For the first three games, the scores were level at 6-6 before the 35-year-old Austrian pulled away each time for a three-game lead.

But Chew refused to go down without a fight and dominated the fourth game. However, he could not see through a 8-6 lead in the fifth frame, and saw his Olympic campaign end despite saving two match points.

On Saturday, the 25-year-old had upset the odds by beating Senegal’s world No. 71 Ibrahima Diaw 4-2 in his first Olympic match.

Chew will now turn his sights to the 2021 SEA Games which has been postponed to 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the 2019 SEA Games, he lost in the men’s singles final to Koen Pang, whom he then beat in the Olympic qualifiers to earn his ticket to Tokyo.

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