Is it too much for sports winners in Singapore to expect respect from administrators?
By dropping world number 6 Feng Tianwei from the national team, the Singapore Table Tennis Association’s (STTA) is living up to its tradition of foul decisions smacking of high-handedness, arrogance and thanklessness built by its former president, Ms Lee Bee Wah, Member of Parliament.
Singapore won its first-ever Olympic medal at the Beijing Games in 2008 through its women’s table tennis team spearheaded by Feng. Singapore-style actions awaited the team manager and the head coach who were both almost immediately axed despite the phenomenal, unprecedented success they brought to the country.
In a post here then I had blogged: “…sports administrators everywhere are a bunch of arrogant rascals who can hardly stomach the successes of players and their coaches/managers. They go to any length to hog the limelight, pushing the real heroes to the background.”
Lee Bee Wah was apparently miffed because Singapore’s male tennis player Gao Ning was left to play a third-round match without the coach by his side in Beijing. He was whacked out of the tournament by a player ranked lower than him.
This time, though, Feng lost in the quarter finals in Rio and returned empty-handed having also failed to help Team Singapore win a medal. But she is still ranked sixth in the world! The STTA may have had issues with Feng’s attitude, whatever that is. This is not how you deal with it.
Unceremonious dumping of a player of her standing only shows the contempt sports administrators in Singapore have for winners.
G Joslin Vethakumar