After 17 years, another Hai Duong table tennis player has won a men's singles gold medal at the National Table Tennis Championship. The gold medalist is Doan Ba Tuan Anh.
Player Doan Ba Tuan Anh is increasingly improving his techniques with stable playing mentality
At the Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper National Table Tennis Championship for PetroVietnam - Ca Mau Fertilizer Cup 2019, wrapped up on May 26 at the Khanh Hoa Provincial Gymnasium, the Hai Duong table tennis team played impressively, snatched two gold, one silver, and one bronze medals, and ranked third.
The most precious medal is the gold one secured by Doan Ba Tuan Anh in the men's singles event. In the final, the Hai Duong table tennis player beat Nguyen Anh Tu (Ha Noi) - the current No. 1 table tennis player of Vietnam - with a score of 4 - 1.
The last time a Hai Duong player grabbing a men's singles gold medal at the championship was in 2002.
After the tournament, on May 29 morning, Tuan Anh and his teammates returned to the Provincial Table Tennis Center for practice.
Recalling his crowning moment several days ago, the table tennis player emotionally said: "Up to now, I am still indescribably happy. This is my first national men's singles gold medal in 15 years of professional playing. I am very glad for having contributed to the overall achievement of the team and continued the tradition of Hai Duong table tennis."
Coach of the Hai Duong table tennis team Nguyen Van Thuan was also very happy. Thuan said the National Table Tennis Championship was first held in 1978. Over the past 41 years, there have been only 14 players winning the men's singles gold medal at the tournament one or several times.
Among them, there are four Hai Duong players, namely Nguyen Ngoc Phan (one time), Nguyen Duc Long (one time), Vu Manh Cuong (seven times), and Doan Ba Tuan Anh (one time).
"The men's singles gold medal won by Tuan Anh at the last tournament has once again affirmed that Hai Duong table tennis has been inheriting the tradition created by previous generations," said Thuan.
The final of the men's singles event of the Nhan Dan Newspaper National Table Tennis Championship, which took place on May 26 afternoon, was an outstanding match of Tuan Anh.
The player not only promoted his character and professional skills but also showed his psychological stability and competitive spirit.
In four out of five sets of the final match, Tuan Anh was led by Anh Tu and even fell far behind (Anh Tu once led Tuan Anh by 7 to 3 in the first set).
However, the Hai Duong player neither flinched nor hurried. On the contrary, Tuan Anh was very imperturbable and found out optimal plans to overpower the strengths of Vietnam's No. 1 player.
Before the tournament, aside from active training, Tuan Anh spent much time in watching video clips of the matches between Anh Tu and him and consulted his coach to make optimal plans since this was his biggest rival at that time.
When being led in the final, Tuan Anh thought he must keep calm and try to focus on playing to secure every point.
Nguyen Van Thuan believed that Anh Tu and Tuan Anh are equally talented in speed, technique, and strength. However, Tuan Anh has a softer playing style.
Before 2016, Tuan Anh played Anh Tu many times and often won. From 2016 to 2018, Anh Tu was slightly better than Tuan Anh at tournaments and affirmed his name thanks to his ability to maintain better mentality and playing state. Meanwhile, important victories often slipped from Tuan Anh's hands because of his uneasiness during competitions.
"It's different now. Tuan Anh is more mature in all aspects. His playing mentality is more and more stable and this is one of important factors that can help Tuan Anh reap much success in the future," said Thuan.
Tuan Anh's goal is winning a medal at the 30th SEA Games which will be held in the Philippines later this year. He said that he would put in more effort to best prepare himself for this big playground.