More than 280 rollerbladers from several provinces and cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Binh, Hanoi, Binh Dinh, Binh Thuan, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Lam Dong, Dong Thap, and Da Nang gathered at Gia Dinh Stadium in Binh Thanh District on Sunday and Monday.

Athletes compete in a professional distance at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City, June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

Athletes compete in a professional distance at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

They competed in three professional distances of 800 meters and 1,500 meters for men and women and men’s 10,000 meters, as well as the 400-meter, 800-meter, and 1,500-meter categories for the 5-6, 7-8, 9-11, and 12-14 age groups.

Among the winners of the 5-6 age group were Nguyen Bao Anh in the girl’s 400-meter event and Hua Vy Thong in the boy’s 400-meter distance.

Hua Vy Thong wins the boy’s 400-meter event for the 5-6 year old age group at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City, June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

Hua Vy Thong wins the boy’s 400-meter event for the 5-6 age group at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

The purpose of the tournament was to identify and choose athletes to represent Vietnam at the delayed 2022 Asian Games, which were due to be held in China last September but have been postponed to September this year because of rising COVID-19 cases in the host country.

In addition, it provided an opportunity to promote the sport to a broader audience.

Nguyen Bao Anh (L) wins the girl’s 400-meter event for the 5-6 year old age group at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City, June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Bao Anh (L) wins the girl’s 400-meter event for the 5-6 age group at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

According to Ngo Quang Vinh, vice-president of the Vietnam Cycling and Motor Racing Federation, roller sports have gained immense popularity in Ho Chi Minh City over the last decade, about the same time when Vietnam made its roller sports debut at an international event by sending a team to compete at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia.

Young roller skaters compete in a junior event at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City, June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

Young rollerbladers compete in a junior event at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

Ever since then, the trend of engaging in rollerblading and skateboard sports in Vietnam has been steadily growing in a more professional manner.

Roller sports were introduced in Vietnam around the early 2000s.

A young roller skater gets ready for a junior event at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City, June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

A young rollerblader gets ready for a junior event at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

A young roller skater cries because of her performance in a junior event at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City, June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre

A young rollerblader cries because of her performance in a junior event at the 2023 National Roller Sports Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 26, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre