Back injury forces Singapore’s key table tennis player to miss SEA Games 31 hinh anh 1Table tennis competitions at the 31st Southeast Asian Games will take place at Hai Duong Gymnasium in the northern province of Hai Duong. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Singapore's hopes of sweeping the table tennis singles titles for a third consecutive SEA Games have taken a hit with the withdrawal of defending women's champion Lin Ye, according to the SEA Games 31 Organising Committee.

The 26-year-old player's old back injury has flared up, the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) said on May 6, adding that she has been told by the doctor to take a break from physical training for the next few weeks.

Lin, who was born in Hunan, became a Singapore citizen in 2013 and had been due to lead the women's team of Zeng Jian, Zhou Jingyi, Goi Ruixuan and Wong Xin Ru at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in Vietnam from May 12-23.

She was also pencilled in for the women's and mixed doubles with Zeng and Koen Pang respectively.

The world No. 101 will be replaced by Games debutante Zhou, who will be joining fellow debutante, 55th-ranked Zeng in the singles and doubles. Wong, 20, will be replacing Lin in the mixed doubles, while Zhang Wanling, 22, has been called up for the women's team event.

STTA President Ellen Lee said: "Our athletes' well-being is very important to us and we will support Lin in her recovery process. Lin needs plenty of rest in order to recover and we do not want to rush her recovery. This unexpected development will not set us back as our coaching team will re-look into our strategies and make the necessary adjustments for the upcoming SEA Games."/.