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National table tennis player Lin Ye retires due to back injury

SINGAPORE – Her trophy cabinet is filled with medals from the table tennis arena over the years and, as she hangs up her bat, Lin Ye said her heart will also be full of memories and gratitude.

The 27-year-old has called time on her playing career due to persistent back injuries, the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) announced on Friday.

Lin said in a media statement: ”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.”

Since the China-born player became a Singapore citizen in 2013, she has racked up six gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the major Games.

Among her five gold medals from the SEA Games, one of her most notable ones came in the 2015 edition in Singapore, where Lin, partnering Zhou Yihan, upset compatriots and top seeds Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu to clinch the women’s doubles title.

In the same month, Lin and Zhou went on a fairy-tale run at the Japan Open, where they claimed the scalps of the top Chinese doubles pair of Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen in the semi-finals. But the Singaporeans fell short in the final, losing to another Chinese pair, Wu Yang and Liu Fei.

Later that year, fourth-seeded Lin also clinched her second Under-21 singles title in the World Tour Grand Finals in Lisbon by defeating Japan’s second seed Yui Hamamoto.

At the 2019 SEA Games, she upset defending champion Feng to win the women’s singles gold after replacing Yu, who had to pull out due to a back injury. Lin also competed in the women’s team event at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, along with Feng and Yu.

Calling it “a privilege and an honour” to represent Singapore on the international stage, Lin said: “From SEA Games to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, I have experienced unforgettable moments that will forever hold a special place in my heart.”

She also thanked fellow Singaporeans for their support and encouragement during her career, adding: “As I step away from the sport, I carry with me the lessons, friendships, and memories that will guide me in the next chapter of my life... I am forever grateful.”