800-strong crowd greet Singapore paddlers in raucous homecoming

Singapore's paddlers return home with two bronzes from London. (Yahoo! photo)Singapore's paddlers return home with two bronzes from London. (Yahoo! photo)Over 800 fans mobbed Singapore's Olympic medal-winning paddlers upon their arrival home from London at Changi Airport on Friday evening.

Both the men's and female teams  were visibly overwhelmed by the sea of supporters wearing red as they emerged from the arrival gate at Terminal 3 shortly after 630pm.

The loudest cheers were reserved for star Feng Tianwei, who secured the Republic's first individual medal at the Games since 1960 with a bronze in the women's singles.

The women's team -- comprised of Feng, Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu -- also won a bronze in the team event, marking the first time Singapore returned home with two medals from the Olympics.

"I'm pleased with my performance in this Games. I hope I will still be around for the next Olympic Games and do even better," said a visibly delighted Feng, 25, in Mandarin.

A teary Wang Yuegu, who was not only moved by the fans' support, but also the presence of her mother, spoke of her future plans as well.

Also speaking in Mandarin, the 32-year-old said, "I didn't know my mum would be present. This is the first time she is here to welcome me back so I was quite emotional when I saw her."

On whether she would still be around in four years time for Rio 2016, she said, "I'm not thinking about the future right now. I just want to have a break and spend time with my family".

Singapore Table Tennis Association President, Lee Bee Wah, thanked the supporters who turned up and expressed her delight with the paddlers' two-medal campaign, which she hopes  will inspire the younger players.

"I'm delighted and proud of the our paddlers' performance and achievement at the Games," she said.

"More importantly, they have displayed great fighting spirit and determination which our young players can learn from," she added.

Among the supporters who turned up at Changi was Lionel Kuang, who brought his two children along.

"It's a great opportunity to catch the players face-to-face and I think they deserve our support after what they have achieved at the Olympics," he said.

Secondary school students Lydia Chong and Sim Xin Yi, also made the trip down to Changi  to catch a glimpse of their favourite player Feng.

"We want to see Feng Tianwei in person after following her on TV. So we are delighted to be able to shake her hand and congratulate her," said Sim.

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