Friday , July 19 2024

Tuyền is world class after her outstanding performance at the Challenger Cup

Nguyễn Thị Bích Tuyền showed her volleyball talents, becoming FIVB Challenger Cup’s best scorer and best spiker, along with having one of the world’s top fastest smash.


Nguyễn Thị Bích Tuyền (right) played a key role in Việt Nam’s AVC Challenger Cup victory and FIVB Challenger Cup bronze medal. Photo of AVC

Thanh Hà

HÀ NỘI Nguyễn Thị Bích Tuyền is at the peak of her career, hitting a remarkable achievement, playing with the national team at a world level competition.

After missing out on many opportunities to serve the squad, Tuyền was finally included in Team Việt Nam coached by Nguyễn Tuấn Kiệt, competing at the FIVB Challenger Cup 2024 in the Philippines.

In the team’s second game, Việt Nam, with Tuyền a key spiker, made a big jump from number eight last year to the third finish, the highest ever result in history.

The spiker showed her incredible performance throughout the tournament, playing key role in Việt Nam’s success.

After bagging a bronze medal with the rest of the team, Tuyền was voted the best scorer (77 points in three matches) and the best spiker.

Notably, she scored 30 points in the quarter-finals against the Philippines, and 35 points in the third-place playoff against Belgium.

One of her spikes in the bronze-medal match reached a speed of 107km per hour, placing her in the world’s top five fastest spikes in women’s volleyball. The record is held by Italian Paola Egonu who spiked at 112.7km per hour.

Volleyball talent

Tuyền, 24, a native of the southern province of Vĩnh Long, has long limbs making her a perfect fit for sports requiring height, resilience and arm span, so volleyball.

Tuyền’s strength lies in lightning fast and powerful attacks, described as being equally destructive as those from male athletes.

The player has perfect proportions, with a wide arm span, standard body proportions with long legs and became a professional athlete from her first appearance at the National Volleyball Championship in 2017.

From the very start it was like Tuyền was born just to play volleyball.

Playing locally but Nguyễn Thị Bích Tuyền’s ability is known internationally. Photo of Vietcontent

Her talent attracted the attention of coach Mark Barnard of Oregon University’s volleyball club, one of the teams in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association’s leading group. In 2017, he offered Tuyền a four-year US$200,000 scholarship to study and play in the US, but she declined.

At the age 18, Tuyền, who set a record of the highest rebound (ability to jump) in the history of the women’s volleyball with a momentum up to 3.15m, was called up to join the national squad to compete in the 2018 Asian Women’s U19 Championship.

In the Bắc Ninh Province event, she proved an important asset to the team as she steered the host side to the sixth position in the top-flight championship.

Tuyền is modest, saying: “I just simply show my ability and try my best on the court.”

Volleyball star

Along with national captain Trần Thị Thanh Thúy, Tuyền has received many offers from international clubs but she has not accepted any yet.

She remains in Việt Nam, playing first for Vĩnh Long and then Ninh Bình where she was the star and received highest salary.

In a match in the 2021 season between Ninh Bình and Quảng Ninh, Tuyền scored 61 points, higher than the world record of 59 points made by Leonardo Leyva (a male player) in 2013.

However, because the Vietnamese championship was not included in the FIVB’s system at that time, Tuyền’s record was not officially recognised.

With her exceptional performance, Tuyền was called to the national team at the 31st SEA Games in 2022 Hà Nội and helped Việt Nam finish second.

Nguyễn Thị Bích Tuyền (No 10) and teammates set up Việt Nam’s history with a third finish position at the FIVB Challenger Cup. Photo of AVC

After her absence at the 32nd Games last May in Cambodia, Tuyền returned to the team in early 2024 and headed into one of the most productive seasons in her career so far.

Prior to the FIVB event, she helped Việt Nam defend their championship at the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup after defeating Kazakhstan in the final match on May 29.

In her first time playing abroad, she made history as the first player to score 30 points in the Cup – part of the reason she was named Most Valuable Player of the event.

Speaking about his player, coach Kiệt said: “The MVP is an award to recognise the excellence in the contributions of an individual to a group effort. Her individual title spoke everything.”

He said Tuyền’s presence helped Việt Nam improve its strength, particularly in the front line, where she was a really important point hunter of the team.

After their historic Challenger Cup bronze, Tuyền and her teammates have no time to rest.

They will move to Hải Phòng for training in preparation for an international friendly tournament in China next week.

Later, they will compete in the SEA V.League and annual international VTV Cup in August on home soil. VNS

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