Vietnamese table tennis player Mai Hoang My Trang competes at the 32nd Open Golden Racket International Table Tennis Tournament 2018 which begins in HCM City on July 4. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The 32nd Open Golden Racket International Table Tennis Tournament 2018 began at Nguyen Du Gymnasium in downtown Ho Chi Minh City on July 4.

More than 100 players from China’s Taiwan and Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam gathered to compete in four categories – men’s and women’s doubles, and men’s and women’s singles.

The organiser invited foreign table tennis clubs instead of national teams to participate in the last two tournaments, said Mai Ba Hung, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Culture and Sports. This move aims to bring a greater variety of styles to the competition which would benefit Vietnamese athletes, he explained.

He added that there will be more events at the following tournaments, instead of four like this year, to make it more attractive.

The men’s and women’s doubles started after the opening ceremony and will end on July 6, while the men’s and women’s singles will kick off on July 5.

This year, Vietnam’s team includes Nguyen An Tu, Nguyen Thi Nga, Dinh Quang Linh, Mai Hoang My Trang, Doan Ba Tuan Anh, Nguyen Duc Tuan, Vu Thi Ha and Dinh Thi Hue.

Last year’s women’s champion, 20-year-old Panarang Orawan of Thailand, is back to defend her crowns in both the singles and doubles. Hong Kong has sent four male and six female athletes to the competition, including Jiang Tianyi (world ranking 63) and Mak Tze Wing (123).

The tournament will run until July 7. —VNA