Badminton draw pits Minh against old rival
HA NOI — Vietnamese sole Olympic badminton representative Nguyen Tien Minh will compete in group D following a draw held yesterday in London.
|Luck of the draw: Results of the draw for the London 2012 badminton event. — VNS Photo Quang Thang
World No 11 and top seed in the group Minh will play Indian Kashyap Parupalli, No 21, and Belgian Tan Yu Han, No 54, both on Saturday.
Minh has won three and lost two to Parupalli, the wins being at the US Open in 2010 (21-18, 21-10), the world championships last August (24-22, 17-21, 22-20) and the Swiss Open second round in March this year (21-12, 21-8).
It will be his first clash with the Belgian.
Tan Yu Han is a five-time national men's singles champion.
Huynh Ngoc Lien, head of the badminton team in London, said after the draw: "Minh has not played Tan Yu Han before but he is not a serious threat. However, Parupalli is a major obstacle. Although Minh has beaten the Indian several times he still needs to prepare physically and mentally.
"Under new rules, Minh has to beat both opponents to secure the group's one berth in the next round," Lien said.
The first round is round robin. The last-16 will play knock-out.
If he wins his berth, two-time Olympian Minh is expected to face Kenichi Tago, of Japan, who ranks eighth in the world.
Tago is expected to have no difficulty beating world No 48 Niluka Karunaratne, of Sri Lanka, in group C.
Minh has played Tago three times and lost two.
In the Beijing Olympics, Minh was ousted in the first round. — VNS