TEAM VIETNAM - STAR PLAYERS
1) Nguyen Tien Minh
Nguyen Tien Minh was introduced to badminton as a 10-year-old by his father who wanted him to have a hobby.
Little did anyone realise, the sport would soon captivate Tien Minh and eight years later, he decided to forego his studies to become a professional player.
It was a decision which has been fully justified as Tien Minh has become Vietnam’s best ever athlete and the only one to be ranked among the top 10 of any discipline.
Although he won a bag load of medals when he was a junior, Tien Minh’s career didn’t flourish until 2002 when, as a 19-year-old, he defeated long-time national champion, Phu Cuong Nguyen.
His win brought much attention and he was soon sent to overseas tournaments.
Small in size but big of heart, Tien Minh has the distinction of being one of the few non-Chinese shuttlers who have beaten world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei in an international tournament.
With him leading the way, Vietnam know they can always stand a chance of creating an upset.