Singapore’s first table tennis player to compete at the Olympics, Jing Junhong, is a recognisable household name. The former national athlete took part in three Olympic Games: in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
The Jiangsu native had her first Olympic experience in Atlanta in 1996. She made it to the last 16 in the women’s singles experience, where she lost to the then world No. 2.
The next edition, having just returned to the sport after giving birth, Jun Hong was determined to get a medal. She finished in fourth place. She credited her better performance in Sydney to stronger support and greater preparedness, even though she had a higher world ranking than in Atlanta. In the semi-finals, she lost to her top-seeded opponent from China and was denied the bronze medal in the playoff against her Taiwanese rival.
The Jiangsu native retired after her final Olympic outing in 2004 with 11 Southeast Asian Games golds and two from the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship. She served as the national team’s head coach and now oversees the association’s youth development programs.