Photo of Feng Tian Wei from Rio

Singapore’s paid mercenaries-turned-citizens table tennis players from China, Yu Meng Yu and Feng Tian Wei lost their singles match to homegrown talents in Japan and Korea in the Olympics. On the Singapore’s national day yesterday (Aug 9), Feng Tian Wei was thrashed 0-4 by Japan’s Ai Fukuhara in the quarter-finals while Yu Meng Yu lost 2-4 to North Korea’s Kim Song I.

For the men’s team, China-born Singaporean Chen Feng crashed out 1-4 in the first round on the very first day. Gao Ning lost 2-4 in the second round. All Singaporean table-tennis players are born in China and are now out of singles’ competition.

According to the Singapore government, homegrown talents in Singapore are rare and hard to train. As a result, the government spent an undisclosed amount in the tune of millions to import foreign sports players and give them fast-tracked citizenships to compete for international sports competitions. The mercenary move is not supported by the general populace and few except the ruling party were proud of the medals won by the new citizens. All male new citizens are exempted from National Service.