Vietnam will participate in the 2023 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenger Cup from June 18-25 in Indonesia.
The SEA Games silver medalist is one of 12 teams competing at the event in Gresik, a city in East Java province.
Teams are divided into four groups, with Vietnam in Group D with Uzbekistan and Mongolia.
Host Indonesia, Macau and the Philippines are in Group A. Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and Iran are drawn in Group B; and India, Australia and Kazakhstan place in Group C.
According to Vietnamese officials, it is an easy group for Vietnam, which won the title of the recent Asian Women’s Club Championship in northern Vietnam’s Vinh Phuc Province.
Vietnam and Uzbekistan have not met for years. The Uzbeks, however, did not have good results in the 2022 Cup, where they won over Singapore and lost to Malaysia. Both Singapore and Malaysia have never beat Vietnam before.
Mongolia will bring all Khuvsgul Erchim Club’s players who competed at the Asian Women’s Club Championship earlier this month to Indonesia.
They finished at No. 8 out of nine participating teams. Vietnam, under the name of Sport Center 1, made history with its first-ever victory on home soil.
Coach Nguyen Tuan Kiet and his 17 players have been training since May 24 in Quang Ninh province. The team includes all SEA Games silver holders and three youngsters, libero Nguyen Thi Kim Lien and spikers Vi Thi Yen Nhi and Cao Thi Hoa Tham, who are promising talents.
They will leave for Indonesia on June 16.
The AVC Women’s Challenge Cup is an international competition in Asia and Oceania for unranked senior women’s national teams of the members of the Asian Volleyball Confederation, the sport’s continent governing body.
The tournament, founded in 2018, is held every two years. The first edition was due to take place in Hong Kong, but due to unforeseen reasons, it was not held. The second edition two years later was canceled because of concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.
The current and first champions are Hong Kong, who won its title in last year’s tournament in Thailand. India and Malaysia finished second and third, respectively.
The winner of the Cup will receive a berth at the FIVB Women’s Challenger Cup.
The men’s AVC Challenge 2023 will also be organized in Chinese Taipei from July 8-15.
A total of 17 teams competing in six groups will vie for only one slot in the FIVB Men’s Challenger Cup.
Vietnam, not listed in the world ranking, are in Group E with world No 39 Australia and Asian No 5 Pakistan.
Like the tournament for the female players, the men’s event was also for unranked teams from Asia and Oceania, and held since 2018.
In last year’s second edition event, Kyrgyzstan took the championship after beating Saudi Arabia in the final.