Volleyball teams get real about goals
HA NOI — Viet Nam’s aim to win bronze medals in the men and women’s beach volleyball team events in the 24th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games may not be achieved as they have not had enough opportunity to play in domestic or international tournaments.
The women’s team would have had a better opportunity if Mai Thi Hoa, who was fifth in Asia, hadn’t retired from competition earlier this year. As Hoa is absent, Phan Thi Cam Hong has lost her most experienced teammate and will play with replacement Nguyen Thi Tiep.
Head coach, Huynh Thanh Son said, “Although Tiep plays well, they have not played much together and need more time to built up their partnership and understanding of each other, so the Hong-Tiep combination will be not as effective as Hong-Hoa for some time.”
In the Southeast Asia, the Vietnamese women’s team are ranked after Thailand who have carefully prepared to defend their title. But Viet Nam will also face tough competition from the Philippines whose experienced players have joint US nationality where they are ranked from 20th to 30th.
Hong-Tiep have competed in only one international tournament this year, the Asian Championship in April. In domestic events, they haven’t had many chances to compete, so they often train with their male counterparts.
Coach Thanh Son said carefully, “It will be difficult to win silver medal but a bronze is possible.
“It will be even more difficult for the men but we can still be successful if Tran Ngoc Cao Son and Nguyen Van Thanh play well, they are experienced and have achieved reasonable results.”
This year, India, Hong Kong and China invited Viet Nam to compete in tournaments, but unfortunately the Vietnamese athletes didn’t go because of the old reason of ‘expenses’.
The men’s teams of Cao Son-Van Thanh, Tang Xuan Hao-Doan Duy Thanh have added two new members, Nguyen Van Tuyen from Army Corps 4 and Nguyen Trong Quoc from Khanh Hoa.
The volleyball beach men’s and women’s team will have a training session in China in early October and then fly to Malaysia to attend a pre-SEA Games tournament in late October. — VNS