SINGAPORE — Lin Ye’s journey as a Singapore national table tennis player has been abruptly cut short as she struggles with a persistent back injury in recent years. The Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) officially announced her retirement from the sport.
A statement released by STTA revealed that following her withdrawal from the 2022 SEA Games, the 27-year-old athlete encountered challenges in her recovery process, ultimately leading her to make this difficult decision.
“On this day, I close a chapter of my life, bidding farewell to the sport that has shaped me into the person I am today. Although my back injury has forced me to retire, I am filled with gratitude for the incredible journey I have had as a national player,” said Lin in a media statement.
Born in China, Lin became a Singaporean in 2013 through the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme. She has achieved remarkable success representing Singapore in major games, including winning multiple medals. Notably, at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Lin was a valuable member of the women’s team alongside Feng Tianwei, Yu Mengyu, Zhou Yihan, and Isabelle Li, that won the gold medal in the team event. She also won the bronze medal in the singles event in 2014 and brought home the silver medal in the team event four years later.
“Representing Singapore on the international stage has been a privilege and an honor. From SEA Games to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, I have experienced unforgettable moments that will forever hold a special place in my heart. Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to experience the unwavering support of my fellow Singaporeans. Your cheers and encouragement fueled my spirit, even during the most challenging times. I am grateful for the love and belief you have shown me,” expressed Lin who won five gold medals at the SEA Games.
Her first medal from the regional biennial sports meet came in 2013 in Myanmar from the women’s team event. Two years later, when Singapore hosted the SEA Games, she added two more gold medals in the doubles and team category. It was an all-Singapore final in the women’s doubles, but Lin and Zhou managed to pull off an upset against the more experienced and top-seeded Feng and Yu. Still riding the adrenaline from the 2015 SEA Games, Lin and Zhou had an impressive journey in the Japan Open. In the semi-finals, they defeated Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen of China, one of the tournament’s favourites. However, their luck ran out in the finals as the Chinese pairing of Wu Yang and Liu Fei defeated them.
In the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Lin won gold and silver medals in the team and doubles events, respectively. Then, in the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, she triumphed with a gold medal in the singles event and a bronze medal in the doubles category.
Reflecting on her sporting journey with Team Singapore, Lin fondly expressed, “As I bid farewell to the sport, I cherish the invaluable lessons, friendships, and memories that will shape the upcoming chapter of my life. Table tennis will forever occupy a cherished corner of my heart. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Singapore for its unwavering support and for being an integral part of my remarkable athletic odyssey. Thank you, Singapore, I am forever grateful.”
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