Jing Jun Hong
Originally from Shanghai, Jing Jun Hong became a Singapore citizen in April 1994 and is quite easily Singapore’s most renowned table tennis star. In China she had been ranked as the country’s No.3 player. Representing Singapore at the Commonwealth Championships in 1995, Jun Hong claimed a silver medal, surrendering the gold only to the world No.3 player at the time, Chai Po Wa from Hong Kong.
At the 1995 SEA Games in Chiangmai, Jun Hong didn’t disappoint her fans. Dominating the singles event, she also won the mixed doubles and obtained a silver medal in the women’s doubles. Her preparation for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics included a training stint in England. Although she didn’t make it to the quarter finals, Jun Hong’s performance was one of the best by a Singaporean female athlete at the Olympic Games. In recognition of this accomplishment and her eighth place finish in the Women’s World Cup, she was named Sportswoman of the Year in 1997.
In 1997, at the 13th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Jun Hong once again pulled out all the stops, taking the individual, doubles and team gold, in Singapore’s finest ever results. Her fantastic achievements were again rewarded with the 1998 Sportswoman of the Year title, and these also include her singles win in Jakarta at the 19th SEA Games. Followed by her team gold medal at the regional Games and two doubles titles at the 20th SEA Games in Brunei, Jun Hong was firmly established in Singapore’s sporting history.
In her second appearance at the Olympic Games, this time in Sydney in 2000, she placed 4th, a rank that resulted in her third Sportswoman of the Year title. Encouraged by the recognition she was receiving, she continued her successful career, winning yet more golds in the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the 2003 SEA Games in Hanoi. Her third Olympic appearance in the 2004 Games in Athens saw her getting through to the third round. Jun Hong believes making it to the Olympics marks the true peak of her sporting life, “this is where athletes really have to go”.