Teams from 32 nations gathered in Yokohama, Japan on Tuesday (2 April) for the opening of the second Asian Table Tennis Championships.
TGV INT Teams parading
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Democratic Republic of Vietnam team to Cyprus beside them
SV New Zealand team parading
SV People's Democratic Republic of Yemen team parading
SV Vietcong team claiming to represent Republic of South Vietnam parading wearing battle fatigues
SV PAN Singapore team parade past
SV People's Republic of China team stand beside team from People's team from people's Republic of Korea
SV Hong Kong team standing in centre of area
SV PAN Yeman Arab Republic team parading
SV Australian and Khmer teams
GV Officials and spectators PAN TO competitors listening to speeches
Games official addressing teams
SV Teams lined up during speeches
CU People's Republic of China team
SV Teams listening to speeches (3 shots)
SV Officials applaud at end of speech
GTV Teams march off to applause
Initials BB/0007 BD/AW/BB/0033
SPORT: TABLE TENNIS
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Background: Teams from 32 nations gathered in Yokohama, Japan on Tuesday (2 April) for the opening of the second Asian Table Tennis Championships.
The first tournament of its kind was held in 1972 and the motto for the Second Asian Championships is "Uni Asia Through Table Tennis". 42 nations were invited to take part in the two-week tournament, among them Asian, Arab and South East Asian countries. In 1972, the championships were dominated by Japan, The People's Republic of China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and North Vietnam. The first championships, held in Peking, heralded a breakthrough in International Sports Competition by The People's Republic of China. Once again, Japan and The People's Republic of China are favourites in the championships in men's and women's events.
The opening of the second Asian Table Tennis Championships threatened to set off a diplomatic row. The crowd of 2,000 watching the opening ceremony were quiet but broke into tumultuous applause when the 17-member Vietcong team entered in jungle fatigues and carrying a large sign announcing them as representatives of the "Republic of South Vietnam". However, generally the ceremonies went well with national anthems and flags not being used to avoid embarrassment among participating countries.