HA NOI – Viet Nam's Nguyen Tien Minh has been seeded No 4 at the Australian Grand Prix Gold which will start tomorrow in Sydney.
Minh, who ranks 12th in the world, is behind Chen Jin of China, Sho Sasaki of Japan and Simon Santoso of Indonesia.
The draw looks favourable for Viet Nam's top player, and he should make it to the last 16 without difficulty.
His first rival will be the host's Nelson Oon who is ranked 225th in the world, and should Minh progress, he will face either Buendia Honesto of Australia (No 363) or Kaveh Mehrabi from Iran (No 89).
Minh is likely to face Kashyap Parupalli in the last 16, who he has defeated in their previous encounters.
Minh said the tournament would be difficult because all the athletes would be trying to collect as many points as possible to qualify for the Olympics, with an added personal incentive for him of breaking back in to the top 10.
The Australian Badminton Open was upgraded to Grand Prix status in 2009 with US$50,000 in prize money, and then to Grand Prix Gold in 2011 with $120,000 in prize money, the most lucrative tournament in the Oceania region.
The winner of the event will add 7,000 points to their world rankings.
Viet Nam will also be represented by doubles duo Bui Bang Duc and Manh Thang who will play Patipat Chalardchaleam and Nipitphon Puangpuapech of Thailand in the first round of the men's double event.
The finals are scheduled for Sunday. – VNS