Table tennis: Women's head coach changed after 'embarrassing' dispute in Poland

Table tennis: Women's head coach changed after 'embarrassing' dispute in Poland
Jing Junhong will be redeployed as chief coach (youth development).
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) is appointing deputy head coach Liu Jiayi as the new head coach of the women's team, replacing Jing Junhong, who will be redeployed as chief coach (youth development).

This comes after players Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu had asked "for a change in the women's team coach to help them improve their games", said STTA in a statement on Thursday.

STTA said in the statement that they gave Jing a verbal reprimand and Yu a letter of warning over a dispute between the two at the International Table Tennis Federation Polish Open last month that "caused embarrassment to Singapore and STTA".

Yu had reportedly refused a coaching arrangement made by Jing at the event and caused a commotion between the two.

STTA said that investigations showed that Jing and Yu were both "disrespectful". STTA said further that Yu "has failed to understand the severity of the issue and did not agree that the issue has caused embarrassment to Singapore and STTA". It said Jing "admitted her mistake".

The change of head coach was implemented "in view of the relationship between the players and coach", STTA said.

In her new role, Jing will be responsible for "the development of the Junior Development Squad, Youth Training Squad (YTS) and School within the School (SWS) programme and its coaches".

STTA also said in its statement that they have terminated the services of men's head coach Yang Chuanning. "The decision is being made in the best interest of the players and in view of the upcoming Rio Olympics 2016," it said.

Assistant coaches Wang Xiang and Zhu Jiang will lead the men's team while the association looks for a replacement for Yang.

sinsh@sph.com.sg

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