Vietnamese badminton star aims to compete at Olympics for fourth time

Wednesday, 2020-01-22 10:52:35
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Nguyen Tien Minh will continue seeking his fourth Olympic spot by taking part in the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters in Bangkok from January 21-26. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Vietnamese badminton star Nguyen Tien Minh is targeting a spot at the Tokyo Olympics, hoping to make it his fourth appearance at the games.

Minh, 36, is the only Vietnamese player who has taken part in three Olympic tournaments since the 2008 Beijing Games.

His outstanding career has made him the national No. 1 in badminton for more than two decades.

Minh is currently No 52 in the world and his Olympics’ qualified ranking is No. 24. If he could maintain his position until April 30, he will be heading to Japan.

“2020 Olympics is an important competition. I will try my best to win a place there. This year, I have also set a target for myself to be in the world Top 30 too,” said Minh.

“I have had successful tournaments in 2019 which bring me a lot of points for the world ranking. Currently I have about 70% chance to take part.”

Minh won three international titles at the Yonex North Harbour International, the Yonex Waikato International, both in New Zealand, and the Lagos International Badminton Classics in Nigeria.

He also advanced to the semi-final of the JE Wilson International Series in Ghana and quarter-finals of four different tournaments including the Vietnam Open.

His best result of the year was a bronze medal at the Asian championship in April. It was the first time a Vietnamese had reached the top three of the continental competition.

Minh was also the first Vietnamese athlete to finish third at the world championship in 2013.

He is the only athlete to enter world Top 10 in 2009-12 and his highest position was No. 4 in 2010.

To improve his world ranking, Minh has to take part in between 12-14 international tournaments per year. To maintain the current position, he needs to play in a number of other tournaments before the end of April.

He will start his 2020 at the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters in Bangkok from January 21-26.