gears up for Olympic match
|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
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