Vietnam Challenge Badminton Tournament opens on Tuesday
Vu Duc – The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – The Ciputra Hanoi-Vietnam Challenge 2010 will kick off today at the Trinh Hoai Duc Gymnasium in Hanoi, drawing 260 players from 15 countries and territories.
The crowd will have a chance to see many strong players who are in the top 50 of the International Badminton Federation (IBF) rankings, such as 27th-ranked Shon Wan Ho from South Korea, 49th-ranked Hsueh Hsuan Yi from Taiwan, 22nd-ranked GoTo Ai and 26th-ranked SaTo Sayaka from Japan and Singaporean player Zhang Beiwen who is 32nd.
Vietnam’s top player Nguyen Tien Minh, who ranked at world No. 7, will not compete in the event. The host team will have Duong Bao Duc, who is ranked 75th in the men’s world ranking, and Thai Thi Hong Gam, who is also ranked at 75th in the women’s world ranking.
Minh was off his game in the Yonex Sunrise Badminton Asia Championships after losing in New Dehli last week. The fourth-seeded player lost 19-21, 21-14, 15-21 to Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia, who is seeded tenth, in the third round.
According to the draw, Vietnamese player Van Tuan Kiet will meet Shon Wan-ho in the men’s singles opener, while Phung Nguyen Phuong Nhi will play Chen Jiayuan of Singapore in the women’s singles.
In the women’s doubles, Le Thi My Linh and Pham Thi Trang will test Singaporeans Chen Jiayuan and Gu Juan in the first round. If they win the opener, they meet world No. 23 and the tournament’s top seeds Amitrapal Savitree and Munkit Vacharporn from Thailand in the second round.
At the six-day tournament, the host team will debut young players that have trained since 2006, including Duong Phuong Nam, Bui Bang Duc, Nguyen Ngoc Tung and Dao Manh Thang, according to local media.
The Vietnam Badminton Federation says the winner from each event will get 4,000 bonus-points from the World Badminton Federation and US$1,250.
Nguyen Tien Minh won the men’s singles event of the Ciputra Hanoi-Vietnam Challenge 2009 while unseeded Intanon Ratchanok of Thailand took the championship of the women’s singles event of the badminton tournament.
Last year’s tournament attracted over 200 players from Hong Kong, the UK, Belgium, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Cambodia, Australia and Vietnam.