SINGAPORE -National paddler Koen Pang’s quest for a debut at the Tokyo Olympic Games ended in defeat on Sunday (March 14) after the 19-year-old was knocked out of the round of 16 at the World Singles Qualification Tournament in Doha.
The world No. 159 Singaporean had earlier staged an upset against Greece’s world No. 147 Ioannis Sgouropoulos, winning their round of 32 match, 4-2 (12-10,11-9,3-11,11-5,6-11,12-10).
But his bid for a quarterfinal spot was halted by Britain’s world No. 57 Paul Drinkhall, who clinched a 4-1 (11-4, 11-7, 11-6, 3-11, 11-8) victory at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena .
Pang was happy to be back in action after a one-year hiatus owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, having last competed in the Oman Open last March.
He said: “I’m very grateful for this opportunity to be competing again on the international stage after a year. I feel that I played pretty well, but if I want to qualify, I will have to play my best.”
Teammate Clarence Chew also saw his bid for an Olympic ticket ending in the round of 16, as the world No. 184 paddler was defeated 4-1 (11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10) by Paraguay’s world No. 62 Marcelo Aguirre.
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