Top NSF & national paddler

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/100c8ada-8458-4463-ad8a-ecd3d1cb44c8/10may22_news1_thumbnail1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-100c8ada-8458-4463-ad8a-ecd3d1cb44c8-o2Jj27b /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/100c8ada-8458-4463-ad8a-ecd3d1cb44c8/10may22_news1_thumbnail1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-100c8ada-8458-4463-ad8a-ecd3d1cb44c8-o2Jj27b /web/portal/pioneer/article/cover-article-detail/people/2022-Q2/10may22_news1
/web/portal/pioneer/article/cover-article-detail/people/2022-Q2/10may22_news1
10may22_news1
10 May 2022 | PEOPLE

Top NSF & national paddler


//PRODUCER KOH ENG BENG

//CAMERAMAN ZAKEE TEO & AJAY PRASHAD

//PHOTOS AMOS CHEW, LIONEL LEE & COURTESY OF SINGAPORE TABLE TENNIS ASSOCIATION

CPL (NS) Pang excelled on the world stage as a national table tennis player while serving his full-time national service.

Infantry trooper Corporal (CPL) (NS) Koen Pang did Singapore proud last year by reaching the top 32 of the World Table Tennis Championships 2021. He also clinched the NSF of the Year 2021 award.

Here's five things you need to know about him:

1. He is talented

CPL (NS) Pang started playing table tennis at five years old, and enrolled in the Singapore Sports School in 2015.

12-year-old Koen won the Crocodile Challenge Cup (Primary 5 & 6 Boys’ Singles) in 2014.

In Aug 2019, he became the first table tennis player from Singapore to become the Under-18 world No. 1.

Koen (right) capped off his SEA Games debut in 2019 by defeating teammate Clarence Chew in straight sets to win the men's singles title.

He created history again at the 2019 SEA Games by becoming the first Singapore-born table tennis player to win the men's singles gold medal.

In 2020, while serving his NS, he clinched the Sportsboy of the Year award at the Singapore Sports Awards.

2. He is an infantryman

In July 2020, he enlisted for full-time National Service (NS) as an infantry trooper with 1st Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (1 SIR).

CPL (NS) Pang (centre) evacuating a simulated casualty with his section mates during a vocation obstacle course training.

He operates the Section Automatic Weapon or SAW. Just like any infantryman, he chiong sua (hokkien for charging up the hill), dug shellscrapes, and went on route marches.

3. He is a model national serviceman

Due to his sports background, CPL (NS) Pang's fitness was usually better than his platoon mates but he always supported and motivated them during training.

He scored 94 points for his recent Individual Physical Proficiency Test: 60 push-ups, 60 sit-ups, and 9min 25s for 2.4km.

On what motivated him to put in his best effort in 1 SIR, CPL (NS) Pang said: "It's my friends, my platoon mates…I just want to do this with them because it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

CPL (NS) Pang was given the NSF of the Year 2021 award in recognition of his strong performance as well as support for his peers during NS.
CPL (NS) Pang (centre) with his section mates from 1 SIR.

4. He works hard

Unlike his peers who could rest after booking out, CPL (NS) Pang would be training with the national team at the Singapore Table Tennis Association on his weekends off.

His hard work paid off at the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, United States. The then-world No. 161 upset Brazil's 38th-ranked Gustavo Tsuboi 4-2 to reach the top 32.

Whenever possible, CPL (NS) Pang’s commanders would grant him time off for table tennis training and competitions.

5. He's going full-time

The 20-year-old plans to play table tennis full-time after completing his full-time NS on 10 May.

His immediate goal is to win medals for Singapore at the upcoming SEA Games, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games this year. He also aims to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games.

CPL (NS) Pang With his teammates from the Singapore table tennis team.

"I hope Singaporeans will support Team Singapore in our upcoming games," he said.

Watch this video to catch CPL (NS) Pang in action as an infantry trooper and table tennis player!

Suggested Reading
Uplifting migrant workers' lives, one photo at a time
Uplifting migrant workers' lives, one photo at a time
PEOPLE
21-Nov-22

This commando NSman started a social enterprise that provides free camera rental and training for migrant workers.

Becoming soldiers: First field camp
Cover story
Becoming soldiers: First field camp
OPS & TRAINING
18-Nov-22

It's a rite of passage that all new recruits in Basic Military Training (BMT) must go through in their journey to becoming full-fledged soldiers in the Singapore Armed Forces.

Pioneer batch of DIS specialists graduate Feature
Pioneer batch of DIS specialists graduate
PEOPLE
17-Nov-22

Among the DIS graduands is 3SG Philemon Tei, who had to cope with the loss of a loved one during training but eventually emerged as a Silver Bayonet recipient.

Clearing the toughest SOC stations
Cover story
Clearing the toughest SOC stations
OPS & TRAINING
09-Nov-22

It's known as the Soldier's Playground but it ain't child's play. We get the low-down with the Centre of Excellence for Soldier Performance (CESP) to find out how it's done.

Medical director, doctor & NSman
Medical director, doctor & NSman
PEOPLE
04-Oct-22

COL (Ret) (Dr) Kenneth Mak wears many hats – he's the Director of Medical Services, a trauma surgeon and has served in the SAF as an NSman for 27 years.

FROM FLYING IN THE SKIES TO LEADING ON THE GROUND
FROM FLYING IN THE SKIES TO LEADING ON THE GROUND
PEOPLE
10-Sep-22

As an air stewardess at Scoot, Lieutenant (LTA) Cindy Loo used to work in the skies and travel to many different countries almost every day. However, she gave it all up in 2021 to pursue her aspirations of becoming a soldier.

He's fit to teach Feature
He's fit to teach
PEOPLE
07-Sep-22

Despite his tough exterior – and the tough training he dishes out – Commando 2WO Lam Wai Keung believes in encouraging his trainees.

Paddling against all odds Feature
Paddling against all odds
PEOPLE
26-Aug-22

This Full-time National Serviceman (NSF) medic did not let circumstances get in his way of sporting success.

Returning home to serve
Returning home to serve
PEOPLE
17-Aug-22

African-Singaporean on his way to becoming an officer Feature
African-Singaporean on his way to becoming an officer
PEOPLE
04-Aug-22