Updated  
August, 14 2008 00:00:00

Quoc gears up for Olympic match

Quoc gears up for Olympic match

(15-08-2008)

Paddles of steel: Viet Nam’s top table tennis player, Doan Kien Quoc, departs for the Beijing Olympics today. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhut

HA NOI — Viet Nam’s top table tennis player Doan Kien Quoc leaves for the Beijing Olympics today.

Quoc, 29, who qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games after winning the regional Olympic qualifiers in Singapore earlier this year, meets David Zalcherg from Australia, ranked 438th in the world, in the men’s singles next Tuesday.

Quoc, who is ranked 222 in the world and was the only Southeast Asian representative at the Athens Olympics four years ago, says he is fully fit and at the top of his game.

"I’m ready for the Games. My shoulder injury is well recovered from the International Golden Paddle tournament in HCM City last month. It’s my second time at the Olympics and I do not feel as nervous as I did in Athens four years ago," Quoc, 29, said.

"I’ll try my best to win every point in the opener against the Australian. It’s an honour to go the Olympic games.

"It would be great to win, but it all depends on the day. I think I could win if I play excitingly in the opener."

Quoc, renowned for his left-hand smashes, won a bronze medal at the 21st Southeast Asian Games (SEA) in Malaysia in 2001.

Born in Nha Trang City, Quoc won the Southeast Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship in 1996 when he was just 17.

Viet Nam is represented by 21 athletes at this year’s Olympics, but the country’s only success so far has been the silver medal won by weightlifter Hoang Anh Tuan on Sunday. Viet Nam’s best event, wushu is only a demonstration sport at this year’s Olympics and any medals won will not be counted in the final medals’ tally. — VNS

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