HA NOI — Viet Nam will take part at the Southeast Asian Table Tennis Championship in Thailand without key member Doan Kien Quoc, who has decided to make way for younger talent.
|Stepping aside: Olympian Doan Kien Quoc has ruled himself out of the national team who will be competing at the Southeast Asian Table Tennis Championships in Thailand early next month. — VNA/VNS Photo
A two-time Olympian, Quoc decided to withdraw from the national team, which is hoping to perform well at the regional tournament with a view to pocketing a ticket to the London Olympics.
"I am 32 years old now and understand my ability and know when is the best time to quit," Quoc said, adding that he was also planning to get married.
"My withdrawal will create a chance for younger players to show off their skills and contribute to the national table tennis team."
Quoc,who has dominated the national championships for many years, said he planned to work as a table tennis coach after his retirement.
He took part in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics after winning at the Southeast Asian Championships. His best result was reaching the men's singles second round in Beijing.
Rising player Dinh Quang Linh has been picked to replace Quoc in the national team.
Viet Nam will send four representatives, Linh, Tran Tuan Quynh, Nguyen Thi Viet Linh and Mai Hoang My Trang, all top national players, to Bangkok's event early next month. Only the gold medallist at the tourney will secure a berth at the coming Olympics.
After Bangkok, the Vietnamese players will fly to Hong Kong for the Asian Championships, which are the second event used as a qualifier for the Olympics. Any player who makes it to the quarter-final round in Hong Kong will also secure place at the Olympics. — VNS