Olympian Doan Kien Quoc and his team-mates Tran Tuan Quynh, Nguyen Nam Hai and rising star Dinh Quang Linh will all compete in the All-Stars Southeast Asian Table Tennis Championship starting on September 11 in Hai Duong city.

Quoc, who qualified for the second round at the Beijing Olympics, will lead the Vietnamese in a tough contest against top tour athletes from Singapore and Thailand in the men's singles.

Known for his left-hand smashes, the 31-year-old is hoping to be on top form in what could be the most important game of the year.

"Quoc has always been a key member for Vietnam . He has gained experience in world competitions. But Tuan Quynh and Quang Linh have also won medals in regional contests," said Vietnam Table Tennis Federation official Nguyen Duc Long.

"The tournament, which is being held the first time, is a crucial test for our players, who've lacked tough competition throughout the year," Long added.

In the women's division, the hosts will display their power with top-form sisters Mai Hoang My Trang and Mai Xuan Hang and teenager Nguyen Thi Viet Linh.

Linh, 16, who won the U15 girls' singles in the Southeast Asia junior championships in Thailand last year, begins her first competition at a senior tourney.

As scheduled, athletes will compete in the men's and women's eight group round-robin competition at Hai Duong's 2,000-seat Gymnasium.

The two top players from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals.

"We're ready to host the tournament. The gymnasium, which was built for the Southeast Asian Games in 2003 and upgraded last year, will be an ideal venue for the biggest table tennis event of the year," said director of Hai Duong gymnasium Nguyen Van Thanh.

Vietnam will send a 24-member squad to compete in the two-day event, which the country will host for the first time.

Quynh was the first Vietnamese player to win the Southeast Asian Championship in 2002./.