Tien Minh favored to win gold at SEA Games

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Vietnam's best badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh is favored to win the gold medal of the men's singles event at the 26th South East Asian Games beginning November 12.

The 28-year-old Minh, ranked 8th in the world, is favored because the world number one Malaysian Lee Chong Wei has withdrawn from the Malaysian team to prepare for the 2012 Olympics.

Only the 6th-ranked Indonesian Taufik Hydayat looks a bit better than Minh. Other players like the 10th-ranked Thai Boonsak Ponsana, the 12th-ranked Indonesian Simon Santoso, the 34th-ranked Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk and the 41st-ranked Malaysian Hafiz Hashim are not as strong as Minh.

But Minh hasn't been in his best form recently. He only advanced to the second round of the Denmark Open and the second round of the French Open last month.

Also, Minh has looked a bit stressed and hasn't done his best in important games recently. But no observeres have expressed concerns about serious psychological problems.

Minh will go to Indonesia with six other male players and five female players, coached by Indonesian coach Asep Shuharno.

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