|Vietnamese players seen celebrating their win over Chinese Taipei at the Asian Volleyball Cup on August 26 in the Philippines. Việt Nam will play in the ASEAN Grand Prix from September 9-11 in Thailand. Photo thethao247.vn
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will take on Indonesia in the opening match of the second women’s ASEAN Grand Prix Volleyball tournament in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, today.
Later, hosts and reigning champions Thailand will face the Philippines.
The Grand Prix is an international women’s volleyball tournament in Southeast Asia that is contested by four member national teams of the Southeast Asian Volleyball Association (SEAZVA) – the sport’s regional governing body under the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC).
The four-side event promotes women’s volleyball in the region and helps each team sharpen their skills to achieve greater heights and prepare themselves for major competitions.
Thailand, the current world No 14, are favourites to defend the title. They will represent the region at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Poland and the Netherlands from September 23 to October 16.
All four teams arrived in the host province on September 7.
They will compete in a round-robin format until Sunday at Korat Chatchai Hall inside the Chalerm Phrakiat Stadium in the northeastern city.
“Nakhon Ratchasima has been entrusted by Thailand Volleyball Association (TVA) with hosting the three-day event again because the province has proven itself capable of hosting major events, including the inaugural tournament in 2019," said TVA President Somporn Chaibangyang.
"As the organisers, we have firmly set our sights on making the second ASEAN Grand Prix another success without the spread of COVID-19. We will do our best to impress all participating teams and visitors and show the potential of Thailand through the significant success of hosting this event.”
On Nakhon Ratchasima’s preparations, Deputy Governor Charin Thongsuk, said: “With great experience in organising several major competitions, we are convinced that we can host the second ASEAN Grand Prix while complying with rules and regulations set by AVC and FIVB.
"We are ready to welcome all participating teams and officials as always with hospitality and enthusiasm and make this feel like their second home. In addition, we’ve also prepared local officials and working staff to help with relevant preparation tasks. At the same time, the competition and training venues, boarding and lodging and transportation are also 100% per cent ready for service."
Việt Nam finished last in the inaugural edition three years ago.
However, they finished second at the May SEA Games and fourth at the Asian Women's Volleyball Cup last month, giving a boost to the team led by coach Nguyễn Tuấn Kiệt.
"My players are in good spirits and ready for the tournament," said Kiệt.
"We talked together and agreed that we will play our best on the court, although we may have fitness problems after working hard at the Asian Cup late last month," he said.
Việt Nam will play their second match facing the Philippines on Saturday and Thailand on Sunday in the third clash.
The winning team will receive US$25,000, though second, third and fourth places also take home $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.
This year, the organisers also launched the first tournament for the men's teams with the same format and bonus.
The Philippines and Indonesia will host two legs of the tournament, although organisers have not yet released more details.
Việt Nam has not yet confirmed their participation. VNS