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HCM City prove badminton prowess

Update: September, 24/2007 - 00:00

HCM City prove badminton prowess

(25-09-2007)

HA NOI — Host HCM City proved their status as the nation’s most powerful club with four of five titles at the National Badminton Championship which concluded on Sunday.

The city were the pre-tournament favourites and the only title they missed went to defending champion Nguyen Thi Binh Tho of Thai Binh in the women’s single event.

Tho who isn’t in the national team and has no world ranking had an easy victory 23-21, 21-8 over Le Ngoc Nguyen Nhung of HCM City, who is 102nd in the world. Nhung, who had a ligament injury, failed to perform to her best although she is enjoying a badminton training scholarship from the International Olympic Committee in Germany in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Nhung has lost to Tho in all five times they have met since 2004.

The national No 1, Nguyen Tien Minh who is 41st in the world, took the men’s singles crown for the fifth straight time after winning all of this matches. He defeated teammate Nguyen Quang Minh in the final.

Duo Tien Minh and Quang Minh took the men’s doubles gold medal while Huynh Nguyen Khang and Tran Thi Thanh Thao won the mixed doubles event. Thao later paired with Thanh Thuy to secure the women’s doubles trophy.

"There were no surprises at this years championship as all the stronger players won," said Nguyen The Huy, head coach of the national badminton team.

He also said that all national members played well but unfortunately he did not see any promising new talents.

Huy and his colleges will finalise the participants at the 24th Southeast Asian games this December in Thailand on the basis of recent results.

HCM City will host the Thomas and Uber Cup Asian zonal qualifiers after the national competitions in 2008.

Karen Koh, a representative of the Asian Badminton Confederation (ABC), who came to Viet Nam to verify the venues for the Asian qualifiers was quoted as saying in a local newspaper that there are no problems with the four nominated gymnasiums.

She said the venues only needed some small repairs including lighting. In early October, Vietnamese officials will check it once more before ABC gives its final approval.

Koh said that HCM City has successfully organised several international tournaments under ABC’s system. She believed that the city is well placed to host the qualifiers and promised that ABC will send professional experts as technical support.

The Asian qualifying round is expected to see competitions among 20 men’s teams and 12 women’s sides rivalling for four berths in the final round which will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2008. — VNS

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