Tien Minh – an inspiration to younger generations

Friday, 2013-08-09 14:06:18
 Font Size:     |        Print

Top Vietnamese badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh
 Font Size:     |  

Nhan Dan Online – Nguyen Tien Minh is currently the brightest Vietnamese badminton star on the horizon and the only Vietnam representative listed in the world’s top ten players, currently sitting in seventh place with 55,166 points.

Born on February, 12, 1983 into a well-off family in Ho Chi Minh City, he was introduced to badminton by his father at the early age of ten and quickly displayed a special talent for badminton, handily winning a first prize at a local communal-level competition.

However, it was not until November, 2004 that his name first became globally recognizable following his first-place victory at a Malaysian Open tournament.  

Shortly after his introduction to badminton, Minh became captivated with the graceful movements of the sport. The captivation soon developed into a passion which led to his decision at the age of 18 (in 2001) to turn professional instead of pursuing an education career.  Later that same year, he was summoned to the national team.

Minh did not become well known to public at-large until 2002 when, at the age of 19, he defeated the prominent veteran Nguyen Phu Cuong to win the men's singles title at the national championships.  Later in 2002 he began his professional career and officially entered his name in the player list of the Badminton World Federation.

The following seven years witnessed Tien Minh climb the ladders of success in the BWF. He debuted at a modest position of 252nd in 2002, managed to enter the world's top 50 in 2006 and climbed 22 notches to 28th two years later, which was enough to secure him a berth at the Beijing Olympic Games. He was named among the best 20 shuttlers of the world for his success at international competitions in late 2008 before welcoming the new year 2009 with an incredible jump to 13th in the global table.

On June 11, 2009, Minh stunned badminton lovers worldwide by convincingly fending off world no. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia 2-1 (24/22, 20/22, 21/19) at the Singapore Open badminton tournament and advancing into the quarterfinal round. However he failed to repeat that miraculous victory in his quarterfinal clash against world no. 16 from China, Bao Chunlai, who then claimed the overall championship title. For his impressive performance, Minh leapt up two notches in the BWF ranking and held the 11th place for two weeks before falling down to 15th.

On July 25, 2009, Tien Minh smashed his way to the championship trophy of the Thailand Open Grand Prix following a 2-0 decisive win over the host player Boonsak Ponsana in the men's singles finals, which lifted him to the world's top ten for the first time with 9th ranking. Minh then continued to progress in the world standings and reached 7th spot in September, 2009 after making it through to the semi-final round of the Japan Open tournament.

After a long period of losing form, Tien Minh staged a vigorous come-back in March, 2010, regaining his 7th position and jumped one place to sixth in the world within just one month. In the BWF world table published on December 2, Minh excited home fans as he was listed in the world’s top five with 51,844 points, the highest ranking ever during his badminton career. This accomplishment clearly is a brilliant page in Vietnam badminton history and set a milestone that has yet to be broken by any other domestic player.

Minh is currently performing impressively as seventh seed at the ongoing 2013 World Badminton Championships in Guangzhou, China. He breezed past New Zealand’s Joe Wu on Monday and Germany’s Dieter Domke on Wednesday by the same score of 2-0 before edging out Pablo Abian from Spain 2-1 in yesterday’s third round match to surge into the quarterfinals. The next challenge to Minh will be the winner of the clash between number 9 seed Jan O. Jorgensen (Denmark) and number 4 seed Boonsak Ponsana (Thailand).

Now at the age of 30, Tien Minh continues to inspire generations of badminton lovers around the globe. Home fans and media are always following and waiting for new miracles from the brilliant Vietnamese badminton player at this year’s world championships as well as international competitions in the future.

Minh wins numerous certificates of merit and medals during his badminton career

Minh wins his first international title at the 2004 Magnum-ABC Malaysia Satellite badminton tournament

The bronze medal Minh won at the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines

Tien Minh smashes the men’s singles title at the 2009 Thailand Open Grand Prix