Shuttler Tien Minh off to good start at Rio Olympics

Friday, 2016-08-12 11:03:01
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Vietnam's no. 1 player Nguyen Tien Minh
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NDO – Vietnam’s no. 1 badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh is off to a good start in his Rio Olympic campaign after he came from behind to beat Russian opponent Vladimir Malkov (world no. 61) with a score of 2-1 in their Group E opener early on August 12. 

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Despite leading 7-4 in the first set, Tien Minh could not keep his advantage letting Malkov, who is 28 places lower in the world standings, reduce the gap to 9-10 and then reverse the situation to win the set 21-15.

The Vietnamese player regained his top form in the second set, constantly leading 4-2, 9-3 and 17-7 before claiming the set with a score of 21-9, forcing the match to be decided in set three.

In the decisive set, Tien Minh demonstrated his abundant experience as a three-time Olympian, brilliantly overcoming the pressure of being led 2-4 to fight back for a 21-13 set win, thereby sealing an aggregate 2-1 opening victory.

In another Group E match earlier the same day, world no. 3 Lin Dan of China broke no sweat to fend off world no. 68 David Obernosterer of Austria with a score of 2-0.

Tien Minh will play his second group matchup against Obernosterer on August 13 before taking on his toughest opponent Lin Dan in the last group-stage match the following day.

As regulated, the top 13 performers of 13 groups will directly advance to round 16, while the remaining three last-16 places will be available to the highest scoring second-place finishers.

A win over Obernosterer will be a must for Tien Minh to foster his hopes for advancing further into this year’s Olympic Games.

On the same day, Vietnamese rowers Ho Thi Ly and Ta Thanh Huyen were eligible for the women’s lightweight double sculls C finals after finishing third in the C/D 1 semifinals with a time of 8:18.47.

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