Sports

Linh to find her form at German Open

According to the coaching board, Linh is in a comfortable branch as most of her rivals are around top 40. If she could beat Neslihan, her toughest opponent then would be Thailand’s No 1 Intanon in the quarter-finals. 

 

331774 linh | FDI Việt Nam
Nguyễn Thùy Linh of Việt Nam will vie for a big bonus and world points at the German Open badminton tournament from February 27 to March 3 in Mülheim. VNA/

Theo Vietnamnews

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HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Thùy Linh sets her sights on high results at the 2024 German Open to push her back up the world badminton ranking as well as maintain her place in the leading pack for the Paris Olympic Games.

The Open will take place at the Westenergie Sporthalle, Mülheim, from February 27 to March 3, and has a total prize of US$210,000.

The event has lured elite athletes such as world No 1 An Se Young, No 12 Kim Ga Eun and No 13 Ratchanok Intanon in the women’s singles; and No 2 Chou Tien Chen, No 15 Ng Tze Yong and No 19 Lin Chun-Yi in the men’s singles.

As the world No 23 and the Vietnamese female No 1, Linh is seeded No 7 and will play unseeded Arin Neslihan, world No 36, from Turkey in the first round.

According to the coaching board, Linh is in a comfortable branch as most of her rivals are around top 40. If she could beat Neslihan, her toughest opponent then would be Thailand’s No 1 Intanon in the quarter-finals. 

Linh herself also hopes to get her first win of the year, after poor performance at the India Open and Indonesia Masters in January.

In both events, Linh was eliminated from the first round. She was even defeated by lower-ranking rival Gao Fang Jie of China in the latter event. Previously, Gao lost to Linh in the Vietnam International Series badminton tournament 2022.

Linh admitted that she had not reached her best form but would try her utmost for better performance to reach her targets.

“I may lose at an event but have never lost to myself in all terms. I am not the best player and still on my way to to reach my goals. I have strong fitness to practise and compete, and positively receive all good or bad results because I never leave the competition without doing my best,” Linh said.

After Germany, Linh will take part in other events of the BWF World Tour Super, which will be held in France, UK, Spain and Switzerland.

Olympic target

Linh put in a brilliant year in 2023 as she reached Việt Nam’s highest world ranking for a woman at No 20, after being successful in a number of tournaments, claiming silver at the Thailand International Challenger and gold at the Vietnam Open.

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Vietnamese No 1 Nguyễn Thùy Linh expects to enter the Olympics’ top 12 seed in the Paris Games this summer. — VNA/

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On her way, she also made a big bang with a win over world No 5 Carolina Marin of Spain who bagged three world championship titles and an Olympic gold at the China Master in November.

The achievements placed her No 15 among 35 candidates to play at the Paris Games this summer.

The final lists will be announced on April 30 as per the usual BWF tournament ranking system.

Linh, however, was not very happy with the year, saying that it was a successful year as she beat players in the world top 10, but she could not make it at the important 32nd SEA Games where she was unexpectedly ousted at the quarter-finals.

For the new year, Linh wanted not only to have her second time at Olympics but also to be among the top 12 seeds in the French competition.

“I will try harder to enter the top 12. I believe that I have to prepare myself with the best nutrition support and physical strength for the upcoming events. Earning more points for my world ranking will help me be an Olympic seed which will give me better place in the draw and my tournament will be less difficult,” said 26-year-old Linh, who expected to get back to top 20 first.

Khoa Trung Kiên, official of the Sports Authority of Việt Nam’s Badminton Department, said Linh was currently the highest potential badminton player in international competitions. He hoped that she would reach her best form and complete her mission. 

Theo Vietnamnews