Tien Minh serves up miracle at world championships

Monday, 2013-08-12 16:36:50
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Vietnam badminton star Nguyen Tien Minh
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Nhan Dan Online – Nguyen Tien Minh has smashed his way to a bronze medal in the men's singles at the 2013 World Badminton Championships, becoming the first Vietnamese shuttler ever to win a medal at a world-level competition.

A precious bronze medal

Standing by Minh during his week-long journey in Guangzhou, China, members of the Vietnam team experienced many different emotions, including extreme happiness at the moment Minh fended off his Danish quarterfinal opponent Jan O Jorgensen, who is ranked 10th in the world. ‘Seeing Tien Minh lie on the floor and clamor with happiness, I could not hold back my tears’, said Vice Chairwoman of Ho Chi Minh City Badminton Federation Huynh Ngoc Lien, who has kept a close eye on the player in recent times.

Despite failing to overthrow four-time world champion Lin Dan of China, who is known as ‘badminton superman’ and ‘badminton legend’, taking bronze at a world-class competition is truly a momentous occasion for Tien Minh. Regardless of critics saying that, at the age of 30, he has passed his prime, Tien Minh once again proved his form as the country’s number one player and the world number seven on the court, becoming the first Vietnamese player in history to advance to the semifinal round of a world-level event.

Minh celebrates his well-deserved quarterfinal victory against Jan O Jorgensen

Eleven years ago, Tien Minh began his professional career and officially enrolled in the Badminton World Federation (BWF). At the time, his ambition was to battle for a place in the world’s top 100. However, the following seven years witnessed Tien Minh’s meteoric rise in the BWF. Debuting at a modest position of 252nd in 2002, Minh managed to enter the world's top 50 in 2006 and climbed up to 28th two years later, which was enough to secure him a berth at the Beijing Olympic Games. He was named among the 20 best shuttlers in 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.

In the BWF rankings published on December 2, 2010, Minh excited his fans as he was listed in the world’s top five with 51,844 points, the highest ranking during his badminton career. From then on, he has made constant efforts to maintain his place in the world’s top ten players despite some difficult periods of unsuccessful competition. Three weeks prior to the 2013 World Championships in Guangzhou, Minh claimed the US Open title after beating Hong Kong rival Wing Ki Wong 2-1 in three tense sets of play.

Although no prize money is at stake, the World Championship is the most prestigious tournament in the BWF season, offering the most bonus points of any event. The overall winner gets 12,000 additional points, while the runner-up receives 10,200. As a semifinalist, Tien Minh will add 8,400 to his total points in the BWF standings. Fans can expect to see a stunning leap by Tien Minh on the world ladders of success in the coming time.

SEA Games gold medal – an uncompleted dream 

After returning to Vietnam later today, Minh will fly to India to prepare for the Indian Badminton League (IBL) from August 14-31, in which he plays for the Pune Vijetas badminton club. Pune Vijetas has agreed to pay Minh US$44,000 for his two-week contribution.

Following the conclusion of the IBL, Tien Minh will try for a Super Series championship title and the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games men’s singles gold medal. During his 11-year professional badminton career, Minh has not yet taken the overall crown at the regional arena, so the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar later this year will be an excellent opportunity for the number one Vietnamese shuttler to realise his uncompleted dream.