Tornados of Vietnam defeated the three top seeded Malaysian hockey teams to become champions of the 1st Vietnam International Hockey Sixes held in Ho Chi Minh City on 8 and 9 November, which saw 14 teams competing for the title.
Despite the fact that Tornados Vietnam was boosted by the three Vietnamese brothers Binh, Sammy and Tommy Hoang who had played competitive field hockey in the US but now pretty much retired because of business commitments, the team was never fancied to win the tournament after they only came fourth in Pool B at the end of the previous day.
God must have been smiling on the local Vietnamese hockey team on the final day when Tornados Vietnam knocked out tournament favourites Kelab Aman of Kuala Lumpur in the quarterfinals, then Kedah Veterans in the semifinals before beating another Kuala Lumpur side, “Sunday 2030” in the Final in a sudden death penalty shoot out to become champions.
As the organizers were hoping that the tournament would give the Vietnamese players exposure to international club hockey, never in their wildest dreams did they think a local Vietnam side would win the tournament especially since field hockey is hardly played in the country.
The other clubs participating from Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong certainly witnessed the birth of field hockey with this historic win by a local Vietnamese hockey team (albeit unexpectedly) as it will create tremendous interest amongst the local Vietnamese in this 100 year old Olympic sport. The Vietnam International Hockey Sixes will be an annual fixture on the fledging Vietnamese field hockey scene.
For more information about the Vietnam Hockey Festival please visit www.vietnamhockey.vn
Source: Vietnam Hockey.