New Zealand representative and defending titleholder Teng Teng Liu heads a strong field for the North Island Open table tennis championships, being played in the Jubilee Stadium's Annex room this weekend.

It is the first time the tournament has been held in Whanganui for 23 years, and the 26-year-old Aucklander Liu is top seed in a field of 22 to contest the Open Men's singles.

The tournament, which starts at 1pm tomorrow with the Under 13 and U18 age grade events, consists of a large number of grades, from 11-and-Under juniors up to 75-and-older veterans, plus senior B, C and D grades.

There are Over-60 and Over 75 veterans playing from 3.30pm with Open and C graders playing from 7pm.


Sessions start at 8.30am on Saturday and Sunday.

In the Open grade, Liu is seeded ahead of fellow Aucklanders Nathan Xu and Dean Shu, plus Waitemata's Victor Ma.

Kim Wang (Auckland) has the top seeding in the Women's Open singles, which will be contested by ten players with Ye Zha (Wellington) ranked No 2.

Wang is also top seed in the Women's Doubles with partner Tianyu Zhang (North Shore), and also in the mixed doubles with fellow Aucklander Dinyar Irani.

Fifteen-year-old Irani, who has been in great form, is top ranked in the Men's Doubles with Nathan Xu.

Dean Shu has top billing in the field of 14 for the Under 21 Men's singles, ahead of Waitemata's Alfred Deala-Pena, and 14-year-old Alex Liu Cao is top seed in the Under 18 Boys' singles, ahead of 16 other entrants.