|Việt Nam's Nguyễn Thùy Linh reacts after beating Switzerland's Sabrina Jaquet in their women's singles badminton group stage match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo on Wednesday. AFP/VNA Photo|
Vietnamese Linh, world No 49, took just 33 minutes to beat Jaquet 21-8, 21-17 in the last match of the group stage. She avenged her previous defeat to the world No 46 at the Russian Open in 2019.
It was Linh’s second win, putting her in the second position in the group but it was not enough to qualify for the next round.
“I am happy with my wins in Olympics. I think I do good job and will make it a mark to strive harder for next tournaments,” Linh said.
“I have learned a lot from here and found my weaknesses that will be fixed and improved soon. More than one year practicing with no international tournaments did not make me nervous when playing against strong rivals here.
“If I was not in the same group with the world No 2 Tai Tzu-ying, I could face another powerful athlete, but I would have had more chance to go further in the Olympics.
“However, after my match with Tai I think I could play equally with top athletes, it is not a big gap between me and them,” said Linh.
She made history for Việt Nam as she was the first Vietnamese badminton player to secure two wins at an Olympics.
Previously, her seniors Lê Ngọc Nguyên Nhung and Vũ Thị Trang could win only once at the 2008 and 2016 competitions, respectively.
Talking about his player, coach Ngô Trung Dũng said: "We believed that Linh had chance to win this match and we adjusted tactics so that Linh could well manage the game and shine.
“The group stage ended with two wins for Linh and one loss to the world No 2. It is good result and I am pleased with her performance. I hope that she would continue her best form for future events.”
Coach Dũng also revealed that after the Tokyo Games, Linh might be sent back to Japan for intensive training as it will be an important preparation for the 31st SEA Games which is scheduled for April or May next year.
Also Wednesday, archer Đỗ Thị Ánh Nguyệt competed in the women’s individual event. She was against host competitor Ren Hayakawa.
Nguyệt, 20, is the youngest member of Việt Nam Team, and it is the first Olympics of her career. Meanwhile Ren is more experienced, and was tasting the Olympic atmosphere for the second time. She won a bronze in the women’s team event in 2012 in London and another in the Asian Games in 2014.
Nguyệt caused a surprise when she won the first and third sets and drew in the fourth, forcing Ren to work hard to level the score with wins in the second and fifth set. The 2-2 result pushed them to a shoot-off, but Nguyệt scored only seven points while Ren made eight and advanced to the next round. VNS