|China import gives Singapore bronze medal
Singapore celebrated its first individual Olympic medal in 52 years, a bronze in women's table tennis, even though some grumbled that winner Feng Tianwei was an import from China.
Feng, who became a Singaporean in 2008, joined former compatriots Li Xiaoxia, the gold medallist, and second-placed Ding Ning on the podium after defeating Japan's Kasumi Ishikawa 4-0 on Wednesday, AFP reports.
Singapore President Tony Tan personally witnessed the victory in London and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a congratulatory message that Feng, 25, had done her adoptive country proud. “Singapore's first individual Olympic medal in 52 years! We are all proud of you,'' Lee said.
Pictures of Feng, who moved to Singapore in 2007 and was given citizenship seven months before the Beijing Olympics, were splashed across Singapore newspapers, websites and social media today. She was also part of the all China-born women's table tennis team that won a group silver for Singapore in Beijing in 2008.
Singapore is hoping for another team medal this year from the women paddlers in London. “This bronze medal is something I've been yearning for,'' Feng said in an interview carried by Singapore radio today. “There is still a team event to come. Hopefully we can complete our goal by doing well as a team.''
Singapore's last individual medal winner was weightlifter Tan Howe Liang, who was also born in China and won silver at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
“I truly await for an Olympic gold to be won by a locally born Singaporean, trained and nurtured in the Singaporean way, even if it takes another 50 years,'' a reader who goes by the name Dotaro said on Yahoo! Singapore. But supporters embraced Feng as a fellow Singaporean.