Nguyen flying high for Ireland (Photo: Badminton Photo)
Nhat Nguyen: The Irish Open is a big focus for me
Date: 11/12/2019 11:37 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Ireland, a small but proud badminton nation, have over the past decade been entertained by a top men’s singles player in Scott Evans. A major highlight was at the 2016 Rio Olympics reaching the round of sixteen. Now retired, the batten, or badminton racket, has been handed over to the new generation of inspired players. 

Step up Nhat Nguyen, who has taken no time at all in continuing the Irish men’s singles success. He was the gold medalist at the 2016 European U17 Championships in the boys' singles and won the bronze medal in the doubles event partnering Paul Reynolds. In the same year, he fully announced himself on the men's singles scene with the Irish National Championship.

The 2018 European Junior bronze medalist has seamlessly moved into the senior circuit and has steadily collected some great results. We spoke with Nguyen to find out where he is at with his progress right now. 

Top fifty before the Olympics
The nineteen-year-old from Dublin has had a good 2019, with a handful of quarterfinals, a semifinal in the Kharkiv International, beating the like of Pablo Abian in the process, and most recently another quarterfinal at the SaarLorLux Open. We asked how his game is feeling at the moment. Is there a key milestone that was surpassed this year?

- My performances have been quite good recently for the last three to four months. Even though there were a couple of first round losses, but in those losses, I felt I performed quite okay, but just failed to capitalise on the opportunity I had to win. 

- My game at the moment is quite good, training well, no illness and most importantly injury free. My goal at the start of this year is to be top fifty before the Olympics cycle ends and to qualify for Olympics. So, right now I am on track for both those goals.

He was more efficient with his energy level
Like Nguyen mentioned, if we are to look at some of the losses, his three-game match against Srikanth at the World Championships stands out. Playing a player ranked in the top ten, we spoke about what he can learn from that experience and take away as areas to develop.

- It was a great experience to have played a player of his standards. I felt he was more efficient with his energy level and uses his energy more efficiently than me. So yeah, that’s something I need to deal better with next time I play a player of his level.

As we move closer to Tokyo 2020, we asked whether Nguyen is able to train in Asia and what his schedule looks like now. 

- It is obviously hard to go Asia while in an Olympic period while your travelling every two weeks. So, it’s hard to get a good training block in abroad. So, at the moment I am based In the National setup in Ireland.

Lastly, we ask Nguyen about his key tournaments and targets coming up

- It will be the Irish open, Scottish open then the Syed Modi International in India. The Irish Open is a big focus for me as I missed it last year while at the world juniors. I hope to perform my best game in front of a home crowd and hopefully the results will follow.

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