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Volleyball legend Huệ starts new chapter in storied career



Middle blocker Phạm Thị Kim Huệ seen in her last national tournament in 2016 when her Vietinbank club won the championship title. —  Photo


Despite nearly 20 years of difficulties and challenges in the sport, Phạm Thị Kim Huệ has never felt tired of volleyball.

She has just been hired as head coach of Vietinbank, one of the nation’s strongest clubs, ahead of the new season. In her new role, national team legend Huệ has the chance to write a new chapter in her storied career.

Brilliant athletic career

The 14-year-old girl knew nothing about volleyball when she was at the Military Signal Corps Command’s training course in 1996.

Huệ was invited to try out for the club after she impressed scouts with her height of about 1.7m. She immediately found that volleyball suited her better than the track-and-field events she had been training for.

Her switch of sport marked a turning point in her life.

Two years after that, Huệ first played as a professional player. Three years later, she became the youngest ever skipper of the club at the age of 19. She also captained Vietinbank when she moved there in 2012.

In 2002, the core player of the national team was given the captain’s armband, making her the youngest national captain in history when she was nearly 20.

The 1.81m player was considered the best middle blocker who could read matches and made powerful spikes from the backline in Southeast Asia in her peak of 2002-06. With an average of 20 points per match, she was called a point machine.

At the club level, Huệ is no doubt the country’s most successful player. She has a record of 17 years in a row competing at the national championship. She has won all the best individual titles together with nine national trophies along with gold medals from national cups.

With the national team, Huệ pocketed six silvers and one bronze at the Southeast Asian Games.

She also drew fans to the court to cheer on the team and to watch the transcendent talent Huệ.

“Huệ was a talented player. She was hard-working, had good technique and played smartly,” said coach Lê Văn Dũng of Vietinbank.

“She always played like a warrior, the attitude that young players should follow,” he added.

Meanwhile, her teammates appreciated her a lot.

“She is our idol. She is old but she is strong in both physique and mind. Her presence on the course makes us feel more comfortable and determined to win. We all want to be like her. She is the symbol of success,” said spiker Đinh Thị Thúy.

Challenges ahead

Phạm Thị Kim Huệ will take responsibility for coaching Vietinbank to victory in 2021. —  Photo

Huệ retired from the national team in 2013 to focus on her club. She also asked to work as a coach at Vietinbank after helping the team win the national title in 2016. But due to a lack of playing personnel, she only moved into coaching in 2018.

After two years working as an assistant coach, Huệ took the head coach role after her predecessor quit at the end of 2020.

Huệ’s national U23 championship trophy and her brilliant playing career gave the Vietinbank bosses faith she would be a success.

However, it will be a tough task for Huệ, taking over a club in turmoil that finished fourth last year.

Over the last months, many players including talented middle blocker Lưu Thị Huệ and spiker Vi Thị Như Quỳnh have moved on for various reasons.

“I was a little worried at first when I was appointed. I also felt a heavy pressure in the new position,” said Huệ.

“I will have to work out plans for this current situation of Vietinbank. I will have to hire players from other teams to fill the holes in my squad. At the same time, I will have to train hard for my young players.

“It will be a difficult task but I have to step by step solve the problem. I hope that it will be okay gradually,” she said.

Huệ has had to call back former player Đoàn Thị Xuân who has been retired for years. She also has to rely on veteran players such as setter Hà Thị Hoa and spiker Nguyễn Thị Xuân.

The head coach will also come out of retirement and play if required this season.

“Huệ was an incredible player, a mirror for anyone in the team. Despite her age, Huệ’s volleys are always difficult for anyone. Her physique and experience were the treasure of our team, and none can replace her currently,” coach Nguyễn Tuấn Kiệt talked about his former player and assistant.

“When she joined my coaching board, she was a dedicated trainer who received players’ respect and love,” he said and hoped that his successor would have success as a head coach.

“Volleyball has brought me sadness and pride. I have never regretted my career,” said Huệ who broke up with her husband when she dedicated herself to the sport.

“But I have two things that make me upset. The first one was a gold medal with Việt Nam at the SEA Games. We lost to Thailand in the final.

“The second one is that I could not compete abroad although I have received a number of offers. It was because of complicated regulations in Việt Nam.

“I hope under my reign my players could do those tasks for me. They will prove that Việt Nam also has international talented players,” said Huệ, who has also taken up another new challenge by playing golf.

“It is not easy. I need time for it but I am thinking seriously about playing golf as a pro. Like other sports, in golf, practice makes perfect.” — 



Vietnam football squad suffer training injuries



Vietnam football squad suffer training injuries

Nguyen Quang Hai has a muscle problem during a training session of the national football team on May 17, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.

Some key players of the national football team have suffered injuries while training for the upcoming World Cup Asian qualifiers.

Midfielder Luong Xuan Truong had a problem with his ankle during a match in training on May 11. He is expected to return after a week. He will train with the doctor of the national team Choi Ju-young for faster recovery.

Attacking midfieder Nguyen Hoang Duc has suffered a more serious injury, damaging his left instep after receiving a tackle during training on Saturday. It will take him longer to return to training.

In the latest training session on Monday, key midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai showed a distinct lack of tamina. After checking on the 24-year-old, Dr. Choi said Hai has muscle fatigue and he will need to rest to avoid injuries.

But coach Park Hang-seo has also had some good news. Three injured players, leftback Doan Van Hau, rightback Nguyen Trong Hoang and fullback Le Van Xuan have returned to training. These athletes haven’t played for a long time, so they will try and regain their form quickly.

Three other players– goalkeeper Nguyen Van Hoang, defender Pham Xuan Manh and forward Phan Van Duc – have also joined the national team after finishing their quarantine. Earlier this month, they’d had indirect contact with a Covid-19 case in their club, Song Lam Nghe An.

Tuyển Việt Nam tập chiều 16/5


Vietnam football squad suffer training injuries

Tuyển Việt Nam tập chiều 16/5

Vietnam football squad train in Hanoi on May 16, 2021.

After each training session, Dr. Choi and the medical team will check on all players and evaluate their condition then report to coach Park. This will help players stay fit and avoid unwanted problems. They have been maintaining a tight schedule with the V. League for the past few months and need a proper routine of training and resting to preserve stamina, officials have said.

The national team have been in training since May 7 with the frequency of one session a day. Towards the end of May, coach Park will select 27 from a shortlist of 37 players for the World Cup qualifiers in the UAE. Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam will fly to the UAE from Japan.

The Golden Dragons will play a friendly against Jordan on May 31. The team will play their World Cup qualifers against Indonesia on June 7, Malaysia on June 11 and the UAE on June 15. Vietnam currently top group G with 11 points. Six points out of three games will see the team advancing to the last round of World Cup qualifers for the first time in history.


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Vietnam defeat Iraq in preparation for FIFA Futsal World Cup play-off



Vietnam staged a comeback to beat Iraq 2-1 in a friendly game in the UAE on Monday night in their preparation for the play-off to win a ticket to the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

The game took place behind closed doors and without media coverage.

According to Tran Anh Tu, a standing member of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), who is also head of the Vietnamese futsal delegation to the UAE, Iraq mainly defended and counterattacked in the first half.

Vietnam dominated the game and created a lot of chances.

However, a mistake in the Vietnamese defense line lent the Iraqis a chance to score the opening goal. 

But before the end of the first half, Pham Duc Hoa managed to net the equalizer for Vietnam after several misses.

In the second half, although Iraq organized more attacks, Vietnam still controlled the game before raising the goal difference to 2-1 in the 35th minute, when Dac Huy headed home after Chau Doan Phat’s shot bounced off.

The score remained unchanged until the referee blew the whistle to end play.

The 2-1 victory uplifted the entire Vietnamese national men’s futsal team, according to Tu.

“The match against Iraq certainly helped the coaching staff learn a lot of experience and point out things they need to overcome before playing the official matches against Lebanon,” Tu said, referring to the two-legged play-off comprising two games at 10:00 pm on May 23 and May 25 (Vietnam time).

The goal of the Vietnamese national futsal team is to win a ticket to the FIFA Futsal World Cup for the second time, after the first one in 2016 in Colombia. 

At the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, Vietnam not only unexpectedly made it to the finals, but also played jubilantly and reached the Round of 16.

The 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup will be held in Lithuania from September 12 to October 13 this year.

The quadrennial international futsal championship was originally scheduled to run from September 12 to October 4, 2020 as the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together with Lithuania who qualify automatically as hosts, 23 other teams from six separate continental competitions will compete in the final tournament.

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Khanh Van’s impressive outfits at Miss Universe 2020



Reviewing the journey of Miss Universe Vietnam Nguyen Tran Khanh Van at Miss Universe 2020 pageant through her most impressive costumes.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
Khanh Van quickly impressed the audience and the media with her diverse and outstanding fashion style. She appeared at the airport with this outfit – a dark red knitted vest combined with a trendy short, mixed with bags and suitcases of similar colors.
Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
Khanh Van prepared up to 15 pieces of luggage and nearly 200 dresses, from gorgeous evening designs to youthful streetwear.
Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
This outfit is inspired by the water lily of Dong Thap Muoi region, associated with life in Southwest of Vietnam.
Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
Khanh Van wrote on her personal page: “Bringing Vietnamese beauty and culture to Miss Universe”. This outfit is inspired by the terraced fields of Vietnam.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020

According to a beauty site, Khanh Van ranked first for having the most beautiful outfits, followed by the representatives of Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and Thailand.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020

Khanh Van, 26, stands at 1.76 metres tall and measures 83-61-95. She was previously crowned as Miss Universe Vietnam 2019, thereby winning the right to represent the country at the Miss Universe 2020 pageant.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020

She had arrived in the US on May 2 and competed alongside 73 contestants from around the world over a two-week period in several different events as part of the pageant, including the national costume, evening gown, and swimsuit sub-contests, in addition to the semi-final night.

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