Vietnam badminton player beats three-time world champion

By Hieu Luong   November 22, 2023 | 06:35 pm PT
Vietnam badminton player beats three-time world champion
Nguyen Thuy Linh reacts after scoring against world champion Carolina Marin at the first round of China Masters 2023 on Nov. 22, 2023. Photo by BWF
Vietnam's number one female badminton player Nguyen Thuy Linh made a strong comeback to defeat Spanish star Carolina Marin, a three-time world champion, at the China Masters 2023 Wednesday.

Linh, world number 22, gained the final victory over the world's fifth seed by winning two of three sets in the first round of the tournament, which is part of Super 750.

Marin, 30, who won gold at Rio Olympics 2016 and the world title in 2014, 2015 and 2018, showed her dominance in the beginning, continuously scoring points against an anxious Linh, who lost 10-21 in the first set.

Linh then directly received advice from Ngo Trung Dung, the head coach of Vietnam national badminton team. She entered the second set calmer and with more confidence.

She was initially led 2-5 but came back to turn it to 6-5 and maintained her lead until the end to win 21-19.

In the contested third set, Linh was fired with determination. She scored five consecutive points to lead 14-13 and then seven consecutive points to settle the final 21-15 score.

This was Linh’s first victory against a world’s top 5 player this year, which can count as the biggest victory in her career.

The 26-year-old will face world number 20 Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt from Denmark in the next round.

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