Badminton legend loses top position in Vietnam after 21 years

By Xuan Binh   March 15, 2023 | 11:08 pm PT
Badminton legend loses top position in Vietnam after 21 years
Nguyen Hai Dang (L) and Nguyen Tien Minh at the Vietnam National Games in 2022. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Tien Minh
Nguyen Tien Minh is no longer Vietnam's number one badminton player after being nudged aside by Nguyen Hai Dang, 23.

Dang climbed to 163rd in the world ranking, according to the ranking of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), after advancing to the second round of the Thailand International Challenge. Meanwhile, Minh fell to 165th when he exited the tournament in the first round.

This is the first time Minh lost the top spot in Vietnamese badminton. The 40-year-old player started competing internationally in 2002. At that time, he was 252nd in the world ranking.

Before Dang, many new badminton players had emerged on the scene but no one could budge Minh from the top position.

Minh's highest position on world ranking was 5th in December 2010.

He dropped out of the world's top 100 in August 2022, after 16 years. In the past few months, he did not have good form at international tournaments, constantly dropping in the rankings until losing his top spot in Vietnam.

During his decorated career, Minh won bronze medals at the World Championships in 2013 and Asian Championship in 2019. He was the domestic champion for 11 consecutive years from 2002-2013. He holds the record for having the most appearances in World Championships with 13.

Dang, 23, was born in Ho Chi Minh City, like Minh, and 163rd is also his best position so far in world rankings.

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