Vietnam wins historic bronze at Asian U23 champs

Debutantes Vietnam pulled off a stunning straight-set 25-20, 25-19, 25-19 victory over Chinese Taipei to claim the historic bronze medal at the second Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship at the Mall Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand in on May 21.

Vietnam (in red) beat Chinese Taipei to take Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship bronze medal (Photo: asianvolleyball.net)

Vietnam (in red) beat Chinese Taipei to take Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship bronze medal (Photo: asianvolleyball.net)

Vietnam showed superb form to dominate the whole game, defensively and offensively, against Chinese Taipei.

Vietnam had never claimed a top-three finish in any Asian competitions. The national senior women’s team finished fifth at the 2015 Asian Senior Women’s Championship in China, while their women’s U19 team came within a whisker of taking bronze at the 2016 Asian Women’s U19 Championship, only to go down to hosts Thailand 1-3 in the third-place playoff.

Coach Irisawa Hidehiro said he was extremely happy to see his team win. He said the players had performed beyond his expectation. They had trained only for a week in preparation for this tournament and therefore, he had not anticipated this success.

In the final match later, Japan came from behind to beat host Thailand 20-25, 16-25, 25-19, 27-25, and 15-12 to take the gold medal.

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