Tien Minh, Peter Gade show great performance

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Vietnam's badminton ace Nguyen Tien Minh and Denmark's no.1 player Peter Hoeg Gade played a spectacular, friendly match at Ho Chi Minh City's Phan Dinh Phung Sport Center on Wednesday.

It was a friendly game, but the Dane, ranked fourth in the world, and the Vietnamese, ranked seventh in the world, pleased more than 1,000 spectators with their impressive attacks and counterattacks.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark also was on the badminton court to start the game between the two stars.

Gade won the first set. Minh won the second set, before losing the third set to Gade. Minh has played Gade eight times and has lost every time.

The 35-year-old Gade is a former world No. 1 while the 28-year-old Minh has reached sixth in the Badminton World Federation rankings.

Their Wednesday match was more than just a friendly game, because it was among the cultural programs organized in connection with a Prince Frederik's visit from November 28 to December 1.

The monarch is visiting Vietnam at the invitation of Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Vietnam's former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai was also present at the match. Khai is the honorary chairman of the Vietnam Badminton Federation.

Prior to the Minh-Gade match was another match between Vietnamese veteran player Ho Van Loi and former Olympic Champion Poul Erik Larsen of Denmark. They also put on a beautiful performance before Loi beat Larsen in straight sets.

Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Danish Consulate General as the event organizers donated US$4,000 to the city's sport talent promotion fund to help players facing financial difficulty.

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