Table tennis coaches change as Olympics loom
THE national men's and women's table tennis teams have undergone a major coaching shake-up with less than a year to go to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
On Thursday, the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) said in a press statement that national women's head coach Jing Junhong has been redeployed as chief coach (youth development) with immediate effect. Deputy Liu Jiayi will replace her as women's head coach.
The STTA also revealed that a week before the International Table Tennis Federation Polish Open last month, paddlers Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu had requested for a change in the women's team coach to help them improve their games.
Instead of leading the quest for glory in Rio, Jing will now "be responsible for the development of the junior development squad, youth training squad and the STTA's School within the School programme and its coaches".
Meanwhile, men's head coach Yang Chuanning has also been sacked after "extensive consultation with the players of the men's team". Assistant coaches Wang Xiang and Zhu Jiang will helm the team as the STTA looks for a replacement.
Jing's redeployment comes after a reported disagreement between her and paddler Yu Mengyu at the Polish Open.
Yu had accused Jing of disrupting her preparations before a match by insisting on coaching her even though Yu was more comfortable with assistant head coach Hao Anlin.
In the same press statement, the STTA said that, following an investigation, both Jing and Yu had been "disrespectful... for having an open dispute at an international competition".
Jing was given a verbal reprimand, while Yu was served a warning letter for "being disrespectful and for causing embarrassment to Singapore and the STTA".