VIECoach: Huynh Minh Ngon
Vietnam’s debut at the IHF Women’s Beach Handball Championship was impressive – a ninth-place finish at Kazan 2018 saw the Asian nation announce themselves on the global stage with wins against Mexico, Thailand, USA, France and Uruguay ensuring a top 10 finish.
More impressively, perhaps, was a shoot-out loss against the dominant Brazilians in the main round, with Vietnam nearly causing a big upset after taking the second period against the South Americans – the first they had lost up to that point.
The Vietnamese side are in Qatar after they finished in second place at the 2019 AHF Women’s Asian Beach Handball Championship, held in China. But they made it by the tightest of margins, going through on the head-to-head record against Chinese Taipei, who had finished on the same number of wins and draws.
Known as the ‘Yellow Stars’ back home, Huynh Minh Ngon’s side have been preparing at the Ho Chi Minh national training centre as they prepare to take on Greece, Spain, Poland, P.R. of China and Australia in their preliminary group.
“Our group has good teams from Europe, especially Greece who are the world champions,” said Ngon to IHF.info. “Despite this we aim to have good matches against some of the strongest teams in the world.
“Our teamwork and strong spirit will be key as we look to exchange, and get on, with teams from across the world in Qatar.”
Vietnam’s left winger Ngoc Trinh, who top-scored for her country at Kazan 2018 with 81 points, was also hoping her side can compete with the world’s best in Qatar.
“In Kazan we could not compete with the teams above us but in Qatar we know China, who are very familiar,” she said to IHF.info. “We will try to finish in third or fourth place in our group because know the strength of the teams. However, in Kazan we did our best and ranked ninth so in Qatar we will try our best again and try to be ranked higher while gaining more experience from the other teams.
“Even though we are smaller than other teams we have trained together for years and have a bit of experience now, but we are still trying to learn, and the most important thing is that we learn from our experience.”
Key Players: Ngoc Trinh (left wing), Pham Thi My Hang (left wing), Thanh Huyen Nguyen (goalkeeper)
Qualification for Qatar 2019: Replacement nation for Qatar (2019 AHF Women’s Asian Beach Handball Championship – Runners-Up)
Group at Qatar 2019: Group B (Greece, Spain, Poland, P.R. of China, Australia, Vietnam)