HA NOI – The national badminton team will leave for Qingdao, China next week to participate in the Badminton Asia Championships to be kicked off on April 17.
High hopes have been placed on top player Nguyen Tien Minh who has returned to the world top ten after a successful showing at the Australian Grand Prix Gold Open last week.
Minh is seeded No 7 in the men's singles event behind four host representatives including world No 2 Lin Dan, No 3 Chen Long, No 5 Chen Jin and No 11 Du Pengyu as well as Indonesia's No 9 Simon Santoro and No 12 Taufik Hidayat.
According to the draw, Minh's toughest obstacles will begin in the quarter-final round when he is expected to play Chen Jin who defeated him 21-11, 21-12 at the Australian Open.
On the women's side, Vu Thi Trang will have to earn her place in the tournament by starting in the qualifying round.
World No 145 Trang, who won a bronze medal at the Singapore Youth Olympics, will face strong rival Lydia Li Ya Cheah of Malaysia, world No 98, in her first match.
Her teammate Nguyen Thi Sen must over come Hwang Hye-youn of South Korea for her own berth in the main round.
Trang and Sen will pair in the women's doubles and play Wang Pei Ron/Hsieh Pei Chen of Chinese Taipei in their first game.
The men's doubles event will see duo Bui Bang Duc and Dao Manh Thang competing against Yohanes Rendy Sugiarto and Afiat Yuris Wirawan from Indonesia in the first main round.
The final matches are scheduled on April 22 with a bonus of US$150,00 up for grabs to the winners. – VNS