|Nguyễn Thùy Linh of Việt Nam with her women's singles gold medal at the Yonex-Sunrise Vietnam Open 2023 badminton tournament on September 17 in HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Nguyễn Thùy Linh successfully defended her women's singles title at the Yonex-Sunrise Vietnam Open 2023 badminton tournament on September 17 in HCM City.
Linh stormed to take the first set 21-14 over Akira Kurihara of Japan under strong encouragement of the local supporters who packed into the 3,000-seater Nguyễn Du Gymnasium.
Kurihara, 22, came back in the second set. Her better fitness and youth helped her level the score at one set all with a 21-11 win.
The world No 156 continued dominating the early stages of the third set to lead 11-7.
But Linh who sits at No 27 did not let Kurihara go further ahead. She made a run of seven points in a row to go lead 20-17.
Kurihara won the next two points before losing 21-19.
"I was exhausted in the second set. It was my difficult time," said Linh who cried when taking her championship point.
"I led in the beginning of the third set. I told myself 'don't give up' and 'fight hard'. This is the fourth event in a row in a short period. My fitness was not good enough but I am happy and proud that I won."
Earlier, she took part in the world championship in Denmark, the China Open and the National Individual Badminton Championship in Bắc Giang.
Linh walked away with US$7,500 bonus and 5.500 points for her world ranking. She is heading to China for the Asian Games later this month.
"I will try my best as a Vietnamese athlete and bring the highest result home," she said.
In other categories of the Vietnam Open, Huang Yu-kai of Chinese Taipei defeated Takuma Obayashi of Japan to win the men's singles title.
Japanese pair Kenya Mitsuhashi and Hiroki Okamura beat Indonesians Hardianto Ade and Yusuf Santoso 21-19, 21-19 to take the men's doubles gold.
Hsieh Pei-shan and Tseng Yu-chi secured women's doubles top place after beating Hung En-tzu and Lin Yu-pei 21-18, 21-14 in the all-Chinese Taipei final.
Duo Hiroki Nishi and Akari Sato of Japan came from behind to defeat Ruttanapak Oupthong and Jhenicha Sudjaipraparat of Thailand 15-21, 21-18, 21-14 in the mixed doubles. VNS