Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Nguyễn Tiến Minh is in a difficult group at the Rio Olympics after a badminton draw organised on July 26 in Brazil.
Forty-one players are divided into 16 pools. The Việt Nam No 1 player is in Pool E with two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China, Vladimir Malkov from Russia and David Obernorsterer of Austria.
Lin is seeded No 3 in this competition. No 1 is Malaysian Lee Chong Wei in Pool A, while Chinese Chen Long, No 2, is in Pool P.
Players will compete in a round robin format in the group stage. The best one will advance to the next round. The winner of Pool A, E and P will qualify to the quarter-finals while the rest will take part in the second qualification round. Five players from this qualifier will enter the quarter-finals.
Minh, world No 33, has to beat Lin to advance in Rio. Lin has set a target to complete his hat-trick in the Olympics this year. It is a big challenge for Minh as he has never won in their six previous meetings. In their latest match at the Asian Championship in April, Minh was defeated 13-21, 11-21.
Minh is the Việt Nam’s first player to compete in his third consecutive Olympics.
However, his result in the previous Games was not good. He was eliminated in the first round in Beijing 2008 by Hsieh Yu-hsing of Chinese Taipei. Four years later in Beijing, he lost to Kashyap Parupalli of India.
On the women’s side, Vũ Thị Trang of Việt Nam is in Pool J. She will play No 6 seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan and Indonesian Lindaweni Fanetri.
Minh and Trang, who plan to organise their wedding soon after the Olympics, will depart for Rio on August 2.
The badminton discipline is being held from August 11-20. — VNS