20230605_ PARA TABLE TENNIS - MEN TEAM 1-3_AL_001

Singapore's para-table tennis players Rodrick Li (second athlete from right) and Muhammad Dinie Asyraf Huzaini took a bronze in the men's team TT 1-3 event. Photo: SportSG/Alfie Lee

By May Chen

Nerves and jitters are par for the course for any athlete competing at a major event. Even more so, when one is making a Games debut against some of the region’s best.

For para-table tennis player Rodrick Li, there was also the additional uncertainty of adjusting to the various styles of his opponents across the table. 

Still, the 25-year-old’s trip to Cambodia will end with silverware, after he teamed up with Muhammad Dinie Asyraf Huzaini to win a joint bronze in the men’s team TT 1-3 event. 

The duo were beaten in their ties against Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand, but managed to pull off a victory against the Philippines to finish fourth out of five teams.

In that tie, Li and Dinie earned a point in the doubles match, beating Darwin Labastida Salvacion and Manual Buena Repato 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 13-11. 

Dinie had earlier lost his singles tie against Salvacion 8-11, 11-13, 10-12. 

20230605_ PARA TABLE TENNIS - MEN TEAM 1-3_AL_004Muhammad Dinie Asyraf Huzaini in action on Monday in Phnom Penh. Photo: SportSG/Alfie Lee

Li earned the winning point for Singapore when he posted a 11-6, 9-11, 11-1, 11-4 victory against Repato. 

Said Li: “Coming into my first Games, I do not have much experience adjusting my playing style to other players. It was also the first time I was meeting wheelchair players who were not my teammates. 

“Gradually, I made improvements to my game after each match. There are takeaways from each game, (and) I will try to keep them in mind as I progress.” 

Said Dinie, 33: “I feel relieved and I learnt something new. I’m glad I scored some points and will do better for future games.” 

Despite full-time commitments outside of sport, the duo trained relentlessly before the Games – five times a week for two months leading up to Cambodia. 

It was this ample preparation that Li said he took confidence from, even when down in matches. 

20230605_ PARA TABLE TENNIS - MEN TEAM 1-3_AL_006Rodrick Li, 25, is competing at his first APG. Photo: SportSG/Alfie Lee

He said: “We had various sparring volunteers who came to give us some variations to train with but nothing beats having such competitions where all the players are on wheelchairs. I will relish the opportunity here and take back the experience to improve our game.” 

Meanwhile, Team Singapore’s para-swimmers put up a day of stellar performances in the pool, earning another gold medal and four silvers. 

Colin Soon made it a second title and as many Games records in the men’s 50m breaststroke, clocking 33.47 seconds for what was also a new national mark and personal best. 

Wong Zhi Wei was second best in the same event, with a 33.76 seconds effort for a new personal best. 

Toh Wei Soong continued to make the podium, winning silver in a new national record time of 1:18.23 in the men’s 100m backstroke S7. 

Darren Chan and Danielle Moi also won a silver each, in the men’s 50m breaststroke SB14 and women’s 50m butterfly S14 respectively.


The 12th Asean Para Games are held in Cambodia from 3 to 9 June 2023. For the latest Team Singapore coverage and news, follow Team Singapore on their social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) or visit the official Team Singapore website.