SINGAPORE - The inclusion of Singapore's most bemedalled Olympian Feng Tianwei will give the national table tennis team a boost at the July 28-Aug 8 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
On Friday (May 27), the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) announced that 67 athletes from nine sports have been selected by Commonwealth Games Singapore (CGS) to represent the country at the Games, where 283 events in 20 sports will be contested.
It shared that the athlete quota had been set by the Commonwealth Games Federation on a hybrid model based on two types of allocation - qualification and open.
As such, 16 athletes in four sports - para-powerlifting, para-swimming, table tennis and weightlifting - were selected based on the qualification allocation while 51 athletes from athletics, badminton, gymnastics, lawn bowls, swimming and wrestling were selected through the open allocation.
The CGS selection committee, chaired by SNOC president Tan Chuan-Jin, and the CGS appeals committee, chaired by International Olympic Committee member Ng Ser Miang, met on separate occasions to consider the nominations from various national sports associations before announcing the final list.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Singapore's contingent of 59 athletes across 11 sports returned from Australia with five gold, two silver and two bronze medals, placing 13th out of 71 Commonwealth Games associations overall.
With shooting not part of this edition of the Games, table tennis will be expected to do most of the heavy lifting for Singapore, who are by far the best-performing team at the Games, winning 22 out of the 40 golds on offer since 2002.
Without Feng, Singapore won just two out of seven table tennis events at the recently concluded SEA Games, and the women's singles world No. 14, who has one Olympic silver and two bronzes, will also be keen to recapture Commonwealth gold after finishing third in 2018, when the Republic won three titles but finished behind India in the sport.
Also hoping to make a splash are swimmer Toh Wei Soong, who won bronze in the men's 50m freestyle S7 in 2018, and fellow Paralympian and powerlifter Nur Aini Mohamad Yasli, who will compete in the women's lightweight 61kg category.
Apart from the shooters, who delivered two gold medals through Martina Veloso in the previous edition, another notable absence from the list is former Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, who won Singapore's first swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games when he claimed silver in the 2014 edition.