Expecting new men’s champions
The most anticipated category at the upcoming tournament is the men’s singles event, in which a transfer of generations is predicted, with great expectations placed on emerging young players to take over high positions in the overall standings and perhaps even win the championship title.
Facts show that the country’s table tennis ‘veterans’ are failing to maintain both their top form and physical strength. Doan Kien Quoc is a typical example; his expertise is visibly declining due to the burden of age, while reigning men’s singles champion Tran Tuan Quynh suffered a serious shoulder injury prior to the tournament, which will surely have a negative impact on his chances to defend the title at this year’s event.
Meanwhile, fresh young faces such as Quang Linh, Thanh Luan, Duy Hoang and Duc Hoang, are continuing to prove themselves and making significant progress. With his stable form and overall ability, Dinh Quang Linh, can absolutely surpass his predecessors to become the top Vietnamese table tennis player, while Thanh Luan also promises to be an interesting ‘phenomenon’ at the upcoming competition.
The Military team, including kingpin Quang Linh and other rising young players, have overshadowed Hanoi T&T and PetroVietnam to become the best candidates for the men’s team title and the men’s doubles is also expected to see fierce, interesting competition among pairs from the three strong teams mentioned above.
Solidifying the women’s title
All eyes in the women’s competition are on defender Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City and Mai Hoang My Trang, who contributed significantly to HCM City’s glorious success at last year’s tournament, earning four gold medals in the women’s singles, doubles, mixed doubles and team events.
This year, HCM City are thoroughly prepared and My Trang is currently in top form. They are ready to overcome all challenges to repeat the ‘four gold miracle’ like last year and it seems that no other female players will be able to snatch the women’s singles, doubles and team titles from Mai Hoang My Trang and her team, HCM City.
Nguyen Duc Long, Head of the Table Tennis Department of the National Sports Administration, said the tournament will be of a high standard, featuring many promising young talents who have honed their skills and matured through experience in many domestic and international competitions.
The participating teams are also well-prepared for the event and many have already completed their overseas training courses.
Over 30 consecutive seasons, the National Nhan Dan Newspaper Table Tennis Championship has always deserved to be one of Vietnam’s top-tier sporting events thanks to its growing professionalism and efficient organisation.