Hai Duong prodigy ready for debut
HA NOI — Prodigy Vu Thi Thu Ha would make her debut at the National Table Tennis Championships at Hai Duong Gymnasium from April 18-24, team representative Cao Nhu Lan confirmed yesterday.
Ha, 13, who has grown up training at the Hai Duong-based table tennis centre, will be part of a new-look 12-member Hai Duong squad at the 29th premier championship.
"Ha is a very young star and has already shown her power and skill after just two years at the centre. She won the girls' singles title at the National Junior Championships last year, as well as two bronze medals at an ASEAN student table tennis tournament in Indonesia," Lan said.
The team, who finished a three-month training course in Guangxi, China, last month, are eager to regain their status as one of the country's top sides.
"We are ready to get back on track and challenge Ha Noi, HCM City and the Army team who have dominated the domestic championship over the last decade.
"The city set up a table tennis centre last year to nurture a new generation of players with the aim of becoming competitive again," Lan said.
She also added the team received annual sponsorship of around VND600 million (US$28,000) from Hoang Thach, a local cement producer.
The team will also field other young players including Le Anh Phong, 21, and Ha Phuc Thanh, 18, along with in-form Nguyen Van Ngoc and Ngo Duc Duy.
The championships are expected to draw 120 players from 14 teams, who will be competing in the men's and women's singles, doubles, mixed doubles and team event at Hai Duong's 2,000-seat gymnasium.
Organisers said the winning team would walk away with over US$4,000 in cash, the biggest prize in the tournament's 29-year history. — VNS