The Khang Linh Cup women’s international beach volleyball tournament began as scheduled on 6 October, following a fanfare of loudspeaker vans touring Vung Tau City and a backdrop of colourful posters on all major roads including the entire length of Back Beach.
Ocean Park welcomed teams from Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Kazakhstan, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Vietnam. All games are being played on two courts erected in front of the Vung Tau Beach Club, with sufficient seating for several hundred enthusiastic supporters.
One of the first games in the phase 1 group stage was Australia versus China 2. An evenly matched first set saw Australia win 21:16, but China powered to the front in the second, winning easily: 6:21. The Australian team (sisters Justine and Jordan Mowen) dug deep in the third set to overcome jetlag from 18 hours of travel; they produced several powerplays to surge from 6:6 to 13:12 and an eventual winning scoreline of 15:13.
All teams played twice to decide the group rankings, and a draw then took place for the phase 2 knockout rounds.
Malaysia 1 and China 1 received byes through the “round of 16″, with the other games being Australia v Malaysia 2, Thailand 1 v Thailand 2, China 2 v Vietnam 1, Hong Kong 1 v Kazakhstan 1, Japan v Hong Kong 2, Indonesia 1 v Vietnam 2, Laos 1 v Indonesia 2, Laos 2 v Kazakhstan 2.
The Khang Linh Cup is scheduled to end on Sunday after the grand final and closing awards ceremony, which is expected to distribute prize money of some 10 000 USD.
Footnote: Vietnam is represented in the Khang Linh Cup by 2011 national Gold and Bronze medallists Pham Thi Cam Hong and Nguyen Thi Tiep from the Tanimex-sponsored group, and Hai Phong’s 2011 national Silver medallists Truong Thi Yen and Nguyen Thi Mai.
Ong Tay Martin