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- 21 month(s) ago
Vietnam's top badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh is looking to win gold at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia.
His task has been made easier by the withdrawal of Malaysia's world No 1 Lee Chong Wei who has decided to concentrate on the 2012 London Olympics.
"There is a good chance for Minh to win gold at the SEA Games this year," said coach Nguyen The Huy.
However, 28-year-old Minh will have his work cut out against Indonesia's world No 8 Taufik Hydayat, who has looked in better form than the HCM City player.
The Olympian, ranked 7th in the world, will also face stiff competition from Thailand's world No 10 Boonsak Ponsana, Indonesia's world No 12 Simon Santoso, 34th-ranked Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk and 41st-ranked Malaysian Hafiz Hashim.
Minh's chances may be hampered due to fitness worries. He only advanced to the second round of the Denmark Open and the second round of the French Open last month.
According to Huy, this may cause psychological problems for Minh at the start of the competition.
In preparation for the Games, a 12-member team flew to Indonesia earlier this month to practise at the Jaya Raya badminton club, one of five top clubs in Indonesia, ahead of the competition that runs from this Saturday to next Saturday.
Leading Indonesian players including Hendra Stiawan and Markis Kidowill will train with the Vietnam team.
The team, coached by Indonesian coach Asep Suharno, consists of seven men and five women, with Minh and Vu Thi Trang expected to win medals in their events.
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