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The Ly brothers' mission to popularize pickleball in Vietnam

The Ly brothers' mission to popularize pickleball in Vietnam


ly brothers.jpg
Ly Minh Triet (left) and Ly Minh Tan compete in the WPC Series – Asia Pacific 2024 Race to Carmelina in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. Photos courtesy of Triet

Following their historic silver medal win in table tennis at the 18th SEA Games and their efforts to promote tennis in HCM City, brothers Ly Minh Triet and Ly Minh Tan have set their sights on capturing the Asian gold medal in pickleball to showcase this emerging technique to introduce and popularize. sports in Vietnam.

With their strong attacking style and adept defensive skills, Triet and Tan claimed the gold medal in the over-50 age category at the WPC Series – Asia Pacific 2024 Race to Carmelina event, held earlier this month at the Carmelina Resort in the southern province of Ba Ria -Vung Tau. They emerged victorious after a tough final against a formidable duo from Singapore.

Their recent performances have fueled their ambition to reach new heights at the first Asian Open Championship organized by the Pickleball and Friends Vietnam Club. The championship will be held from April 30 to May 4 at Ky Hoa 2 Club in HCM City and offers a significant prize pool of up to US$30,000.

The Ly brothers express their ambitions and aim to bring home the gold medal and further promote pickleball, a sport that fits well with the qualities of the Vietnamese people and offers sports enthusiasts another choice.

In the 1990s, the Ly brothers excelled as professional table tennis players, representing both the People's Public Security team and the Vietnam national team. Triet, born in 1972, won two national gold medals in the men's singles category in 1995 and 1996, while Tan, born in 1974, won the national gold medal in men's doubles in 1996 and the bronze medal in men's singles in 1995. Their table tennis career came when they won the historic men's team silver medal at the 18th SEA Games in Chiang Mai in 1995.

After retiring in the early 2000s, Triet and Tan continued to make their mark by promoting tennis training and competition. Using their ingenuity and athletic skills, they achieved success in several tournaments, including the Becamex and Phu My Hung tournaments.

After playing tennis for a significant period of time, both brothers suffered knee injuries and considered quitting the sport. However, their path took an unexpected turn when they came across pickleball, a newly introduced sport in Vietnam. They started playing with their friends and soon developed a passion for the game, which combines elements of table tennis and tennis, played on a court the size of a badminton court.

“When I discovered this sport, I realized that it was very suitable for Vietnamese people. The dynamic ball movements require quick reflexes, skill, perseverance and patience to secure victory,” said Triet.

Harnessing their inherent creativity and agility, the Ly brothers quickly established themselves as a formidable duo in Vietnamese pickleball after just a few months of practice. Their breakthrough moment came when they emerged victorious in the open championship held in Binh Duong Province in November 2023.

Pickleball is a racket or paddle sport played by two players (singles) or four players (doubles). Participants use paddles to hit a perforated, hollow plastic ball over a 0.86 m high net. The goal is to continue the rally until one side fails to return the ball or breaks a rule.

Originating in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, pickleball has experienced tremendous growth. It was announced as the fastest growing sport in the US in 2021, 2022 and 2023, with an estimated 4.8 million players in 2023.

Despite only recently being introduced to Vietnam, pickleball has seen significant expansion, with now around 25 pickleball clubs spread across the country. VNS




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