Top-ranked Vietnamese badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh has a good chance of moving higher in the world rankings as he competes in the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold Tournament that begins on August 25.
The 24-year-old, who won the SCG Thailand Grand Prix Gold last month, is seeded third for the US$170,000 Chinese tournament, and will face a relatively easy opponent in the second round if he beats Shon Wan-ho, who ranked 87th in the world.
According to last week’s draw, Minh will play the winner of the match between Indonesia’s Andreas Adityawarman and Japan’s Kazuteru Kozai, if he overcomes Shon, as expected. "I’m ready for the challenge of the Chinese Taipei GP next week. I’ve prepared well for the event. I am lucky to have drawn easy opponents in the opening round," Minh said in a phone interview yesterday, August 20.
Last week, Minh cruised to the third round of the World Badminton Championships in India, where he was beaten by World No 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.
"After facing tough rival Lee in the World Championships, I decided not to compete in the Macau GP, which began on Tuesday, to save my strength for the Chinese Taipei GP", Minh said.
Minh, who hails from HCM City, leapt from last year’s 24th to 9th in the world rankings.
At the Aviva Singapore Super Series in June, Minh scored a decisive victory against Lee in the second round.
"It was an unbelievable win for me. I cannot explain how I managed to beat the top player in the world".
Minh became the first Vietnamese badminton player to compete in the Olympics last year.
As scheduled, Minh will leave for Chinese Taipei this weekend to prepare for the tournament, which takes place at Shinjuang City’s Stadium.
Around 192 badminton players will compete in the men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles events.