Lao tennis players serve up test tournament

Posted by samakomlao Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Lao Tennis Federation is testing its players at a tournament being held at the Vientiane Tennis Club from November 16-20 in the lead-up to the 25th SEA Games next month.

Taking part in the event are six male and four female national level players who have been training with experienced players and former national team players at the club.

The federation has held two national level events this year to help boost the skills of tennis players around the nation.

There are a number of talented young tennis players ready to compete at the SEA Games, but they still lack international exposure.

The national team trained in Bangkok , Thailand , in September and October this year under the guidance of Chinese and Thai trainers.

The Chinese trainer has being working with the team since April, while his Thai colleague only joined the team last month.

The players improved their physical fitness and tactical skills during training in Thailand .

Director of the SEA Games Tennis Tournament Organising Committee, Mr Hongkham Souvannavong, said Thailand organised more than 10 tournaments to test their players, but unfortunately Lao players did not participate in the events.

Since ending their training in Bangkok , the team has been practising on tennis courts in Dongsanghin village, Xaythany district.

Mr Hongkham said the Lao players are all the better for their training programme and expressed confidence they could pick up some medals at their home games.

Ms Dala Nilaxay, 18, competed in the 24th SEA Games in Thailand but was unable to claim a medal.

She began playing tennis eight years ago and is currently in her first year of study at the National University of Laos' Faculty of Law.

She said the Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese tennis players are very skilful and were the best performers at the 2007 SEA Games.

Ms Dala said all members of the national team are determined to do their best when Laos hosts the games and called on people to cheer on all Lao athletes during the event.

At this week's tournament, the federation will also try out 80 ball boys and girls and 50 assistant referees, who will participate in the SEA Games if they are up to standard.

The federation lacks an umpire with the required international certification, but 14 umpires from India , Malaysia , the Philippines , Thailand and Indonesia will adjudicate at the games.

The Lao tennis team consists of Mr Vithaya Laxavady, Mr Donedy Keodalasouk, Mr Somchay Phaphithak, Mr Xayalath Singthin, Mr Ananda Khamphoumy, Mr Bounthavong Silisack, Ms Dala Nilaxay, Ms Dalavanh Singthin, Ms Ketxiny Xaety and Ms Phonenida Meksavanh.


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