Feng represented Singapore for the first time in the Olympic Games at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. On 15 August 2008, the Singapore team comprising Feng and her teammates Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu defeated South Korea 3–2 in the semifinals. The team lost to China in the final, obtaining the silver medal. This was Singapore's first Olympic medal in 48 years and its first as an independent nation.
On 30 May 2010, the trio of Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu and Sun Beibei stunned the reigning champions China 3–1 in the Liebherr World Team Table Tennis Championships in Moscow, making Singapore world champion for the first time.
On 1 August 2012, Feng defeated Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan 4–0 to win the women's singles bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Singapore's first Olympic singles medal since the 1960 Summer Olympics. On 7 August 2012, she was part of the women's team with Li and Wang that achieved the bronze against South Korea. This was the first time Singapore had won two medals at an Olympic Games.
On 15 March 2015, Feng defeated Zhu Yuling and Liu Shiwen at the 2015 Asian Cup in Jaipur to be crowned Asian Cup Champion for the first time. At the same time, she broke China's 7 consecutive years of dominance in this tournament.
On 25 October 2016, the Singapore Table Tennis Association announced that it would not be renewing its contract with Feng, citing the need for rejuvenation of the national team. However, STTA has confirmed to support her for future international competitions if she meets the selection criteria.
Feng Tianwei was born on 31 August 1986 in Harbin, Heilongjiang, People's Republic of China. She is the only daughter of Feng Qingzhi, a granary worker, and his wife Li Chunping, an employee of a department store. Feng's parents, who were poor, lived frugally for years to pay for her table tennis training. Her father suffered from multiple sclerosis, but she was not told how severe his illness was. He died in 2002, weeks before Feng tried out for China's national B squad. Although Feng topped the qualifying matches a month later and was called up for the national team in 2003, she suffered from a long illness; a source close to her said it was "because she missed her father too much". Feng left China in 2005 to play in the Japanese professional league. While there she was spotted by Liu Guodong, then a coach with the Singapore Table Tennis Association, in 2006. In March 2007 she was invited to train in Singapore under the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme. She became a Singapore citizen in January 2008.
Feng made her international début for Singapore in June 2007 as an under-21 player at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Pro Tour Volkswagen Korean Open. As a singles player, Feng was ranked 73rd in the world in August 2007. Nonetheless, that month she achieved a silver medal in the singles at the ITTF Pro Tour Chinese Taipei Open, her compatriot Li Jiawei beating her to take the gold.
Feng was a member of the silver medal-winning team at the World Team Championships in Guangzhou in 2008 and defeated the top seed Zhang Yining from China in the Quarter-finals of the Asian Cup held in Sapporo between 29 and 30 March 2008, eventually achieving second place behind China's Guo Yue. Due to her outstanding records in international competitions, she rose to the top 10 world rankings within a year.
Feng represented Singapore for the first time at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the women's team tournament. She contributed significantly to Singapore's 3–2 win against South Korea in the semifinals by defeating Dang Ye-Seo and Park Mi-Young in two singles matches. Feng's match against Park was closely fought, with Feng eventually overcoming Park 3–1. Singapore was assisted by the implementation of the expedite system when the game failed to be completed in ten minutes. Under the system, players serve on alternative points rather than on every two points. A receiving player scores a point if she manages 13 returns, which disadvantages defensive play by the server. The system unsettled Park, and Feng won two minutes after its introduction in the match when Park committed a service fault. Interviewed afterwards, Feng said: "I definitely did not expect that [Park's error]. It was a surprise and the best birthday present I've ever gotten."
On 17 August 2008, Feng and her teammates achieved a silver medal in women's table tennis after losing to China in three matches. Feng played the starting singles match, winning the first game but eventually losing to China's Wang Nan 1-3. This was the first time Singapore had won an Olympic medal since its independence in 1965. The medal came 48 years after Tan Howe Liang won the country's first medal, a silver in weightlifting in the lightweight category at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.
Feng received byes into the third round of the women's singles tournament. Feng defeated South Korea's Dang Ye-Seo 4–0 in the third round, Netherlands' Li Jie 4-1 in the fourth round, but fell 1-4 to China's Zhang Yining in the quarter-finals. Feng made the world number one work for her win, with the final scores being 11–13, 14–12, 12–14, 10–12, 11–13. According to the Straits Times, Zhang leveraged on her experience by stalling for time at crucial stages of the game, which broke Feng's rhythm. Interviewed after the match, Feng said: "I'm sure I'll win a medal at the next Olympics."
At a victory celebration in Singapore on 25 August 2008, Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, announced that Feng, Li and Wang would be presented with the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Meritorious Service Medal). This is only the third time the medal will be awarded to athletes, the two previous recipients being weightlifter Tan Howe Liang (1962) and swimmer Joscelin Yeo (2006).
On 9 September 2008, Feng beat her compatriot Wang to clinch the bronze medal at the ITTF Women's World Cup in Kuala Lumpur. Despite crashing out of the singles event earlier, Feng and her teammates Li and Wang won the top title at the ITTF Pro Tour ERKE German Open in Berlin on 22 November 2008. Feng won her first professional singles title at the Polish Open in Warsaw on 30 November 2008, in an all-Singapore final against Wang. Feng and Yu Mengyu also took silver in the doubles. On 2 December 2008, the ITTF announced that Feng was ranked sixth in the world. This made her the top Singapore female table tennis player and the highest-ranked player in the world not representing China. She was third in Today newspaper's list of athletes of the year for 2008.
On 23 August 2009, Feng achieved her second Pro Tour singles title at the KAL Cup Korean Open in Seoul.
Feng took part in the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Vientiane, Laos. She was a member of the Singapore women's team with Sun Beibei and Wang Yuegu that defeated Thailand 3–0 to win Gold on 10 December 2009. On 14 December 2009, she and her partner Wang Yuegu were defeated by compatriots Sun Beibei and Yu Mengyu in an all-Singapore final in the women's doubles. The following day, in her maiden appearance at the Games, she achieved gold in the singles competition after defeating Wang 4–1.
The Singapore Table Tennis Association made Feng the inaugural winner of its Best Player of the Year award on 12 February 2010. As of 8 April 2010, she had worked her way up to a second-place ranking in the world. On 3 May 2010, the Singapore National Olympic Council named her Sportswoman of the Year for 2009. The national table tennis women's team, composed of Feng, Li Jiawei, Wang Yuegu and Sun Beibei were awarded the Team of the Year prize at the Singapore Sports Awards.
Together with Sun and Wang, Feng was a member of the team at the Liebherr World Team Table Tennis Championships in Moscow that defeated China, 17-time winner and the reigning world champion, with a score of 3–1. In the two games she played, Feng defeated Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning, ranked number one and four in the world respectively and Wang contributing another point to the team by defeating Liu Shiwen. This was the first time Singapore had lifted the Corbillon cup.
Feng represented Singapore at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and was the nation's flagbearer at the Parade of Nations segment of the opening ceremony. She entered the women's singles competition seeded sixth, and progressed until she was defeated 2-4 by China's Ding Ning in the semi-finals. On 1 August 2012, she overcame Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan 4–0 (11–9, 11–6, 11–6, 11–5) to take the bronze medal, becoming the second Singaporean to win an individual Olympic medal. (The first was Tan Howe Liang who won a silver for weightlifting in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.) Interviewed after her win, Feng said: "I'm really happy, although I feel it's come a little too suddenly. My form wasn't very good lately, so I didn't dare to carry too much expectations coming into the London Olympics. It was just a relief to win."
Feng also participated in the women's team competition with Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu. They were beaten 0–3 by Japan in the semifinals, but took the bronze medal by edging out South Korea 3–0. Feng defeated Kim Kyung Ah 11–9, 11–8, 4–11, 13–11, Li also successfully fended off Seok Ha Jung 11–5, 11–8, 6–11, 11–8. Li and Wang then succeeded in the doubles game against Seok and Dang Ye Seo 11–9, 11–6, 6–11, 11–5. This marked the first time Singapore had won more than one medal at an Olympic Games. Feng commented: "Against Japan, we gave ourselves too much pressure and lost the psychological battle. After that, I told myself that I must prepare myself well mentally and it's only when I do what I'm capable of that I can win."Singles Event
Feng participated in ITTF Asian-Olympics Qualifier (South-East Asian region) at Hong Kong from 13–17 April 2016. She was the winner for SEA group and was given a direct entry to the singles event at Rio de Janeiro Olympics. This will be her third Olympics participation. In the qualifier match, She defeated Nanthana Komwong in the Quarter-Finals, Suthasini Sawettabut in Semi-Finals & Yu Mengyu in the Finals.
According to July world ranking published by ITTF, Feng was seeded second in Olympics singles. This was her highest-ever Olympic seeding. The team consisting of herself, Yu Mengyu and Zhou Yihan was seeded fourth. She reached the singles Quarter-Final but lost to Ai Fukuhara of Japan in 4 straight games. Feng, Yu and Zhou reached the semi-final of the team event but lost to China 0-3. In the bronze medal match, the trio was defeated by Japan 1-3.Singles Event
Legend : Gold Silver Bronze QR: Qualifying RoundSingapore at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Table tennis at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Singapore at the 2012 Summer Olympics
Table tennis at the 2012 Summer Olympics
Singapore at the 2016 Summer Olympics
Table tennis at the 2016 Summer Olympics