But first things first: Congrats Feng Tian Wei for winning an Olympic bronze medal. You’ve joined a elite club. Gd for you.
Now to the rant of the day.
Our FT gladiators are supposed to bring glory to S’pore. Err thaz the theory.
PRC FT ping-pong player Wang Yuegu bitched about the umpire and his selection after her quarter-final defeat in the women’s singles competition on Tuesday. Unless Wang Yuegu can substantiate her allegations about the Germans trying to “fix” her , she has tarnished S’pore’s reputation, more so since “there were hardly any umpiring decisions made against her”: in point of fact there was only one. Details below*
She shamed us several times over. She was undignified in defeat, not for the first time**. What will people think we are? Nothing more than Chinese peasants, without manners?
There’s something more important. We native S’poreans have over many decades built a reputation as people whose words have to be taken seriously because we do not say things that are unreasonable, or which we cannot substantiate or prove.
One LKY set the standard. Pre the collapse of the USSR, his geo-political analyses were taken serious by the likes of Dr Kissinger. He also sued people who defamed him, daring them to provide the basis of their defamation. They never could.
So while Wang is a team silver medalist in the 2008 Olympics and in the last world ping-pong championship, her behaviour shames us. The medals she won are not worth the stain on our national reputation.
Even her personal groveling and that of the entire ping-pong association (headed by another uncouth and undignified FT, a PAP female MP) will not remove the stain.
To their credit, our constructive, nation-building media did not suppress news of this disgraceful behaviour by an FT. But I note that the behaviour of the said FT was not condemned by the publications belonging to SPH***, or the association. If it had been the sport of us native S’poreans, footie, I’m sure ST and FAS officials would have howled their disapproval. And ministers would have joined in.
I hope the silence is only due to the hope of another team silver ping-pong silver model, and not because FTs have to be treated like “gods”.
*Moments after her 4-1 defeat to Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa at London’s ExCel Arena, Wang stunned the Singapore media when she hit out at the appointment of German Claudia Moller as the umpire for their match.
“As soon as I saw I had a German umpire, I knew I was going to lose points,” said the 31-year-old, who is ranked world No 11, and who could be competing in her last Olympics.
“My husband is German, and I have a private problem with them. Someone from their team is abusing their relationship with officials and has arranged for me to have a German umpire.
“They’re abusing their power and I can’t respect that.
“Today, I feel fine personally about the match, but I feel bad for the sport and bad for the Olympic Games that this is allowed to happen.”
This despite Today reporting “there were hardly any umpiring decisions made against her during her clash with Ishikawa yesterday, it is unclear what the real reasons are behind her surprise and unusual outburst … Wang could not be contacted later to further explain her verbal lashing.
When approached after the incident, table tennis team manager Loy Soo Han declined comment. Likewise, Singapore Table Tennis Association Chief Executive Officer Wong Hui Leng did not want to speak on the matter”.- TODAY
**However, at the World Championship in Dortmund, Germany, in March this year, Wang was shown the red card for protesting a series of dubious service calls by German umpire Klaus Seipold and Kosovo’s Jeton Beqiri during Singapore’s 3-0 win over Taiwan in a Group B match.
She initially refused to leave, and women’s team coach Zhou Shusen and assistant coach Jing Junhong were also involved in the incident.
Afterwards, the Singapore team were also given a formal warning by the tournament organisers on their conduct.
***Three cheers for Today which had words for her and STTA, pointing out that her outburst was an attack on the German table tennis federation, and yet STTA remained silent. Another reason that S’pore is shamed by the FT and her FT-loving PAP leader.