Interest has been spiking in beach volleyball around the world, and Vietnam is set to see a bump in participation in the sport.
Not only does it feature ridiculously fit athletes lunging all over the sand when you see it on TV, the rules are relatively simple and all you need is a ball and a net. The chance to combine the great outdoors with an inexpensive workout makes it ideal for a tropical emerging market like Vietnam.
Vietnam’s beach volleyball stars have been making names for themselves in the region, with strong showings at the recent 29th SEA Beach Volleyball Championships at Palawan Beach in Singapore. Mai Thi Hoa and Tran Thi Cam Thi were particularly impressive, dominating their opponents before being ousted in the playoff stages. Thirty teams, of 15 women’s and men’s pairs, representing eight countries will be competing in the 29th South East Asian Beach Volleyball Championships to be held in Singapore for the first time.
The Vietnamese duo was ranked as high as No. 22 earlier in the year on the AVC Women’s Beach Volleyball Tour 2017, trailing teams from China, Australia and Thailand. The pair have played together for several years, notably at the Vietnam Open in Halong in 2013 and numerous other highprofile events.
The pair of Duong My Huyen Truong and Doan Huynh Yen Le also impressed in Singapore, with a dramatic win over arch-rivals Malaysia, but fell short of playoff qualification.
But the framework for the success of these Vietnamese squads is rooted in a surplus of events held around Vietnam, including the Asian Women’s Beach Volleyball Championship in Can Tho earlier this year. The tournament drew in 20 teams from 11 countries and territories such as Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and China, besides the hosts. The Tuan Chau — Halong Masters event took place days later in Northern Vietnam. Regional and provincial events also take place throughout the year.
Events in Danang, Nha Trang, Nghe An’s Cua Lo beach and other scenic destinations around the country show that the sport is on the upswing. Even areas without beachfront have hosted beach volleyball events in the past, proving that terrain is no obstacle.
For more information about beach volleyball in Southeast Asia, visit asianvolleyball.net for details.