Vietnam's badminton ace books official Olympic berth

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Vietnam's No. 1 badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh has officially earned a berth at the London Olympic Games in July, according to the latest release by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

The federation said that a country with one player in the world top 38 as of May 3 can send that player to the Olympics.

Currently standing in the 11th position in the BWF rankings, Minh also won a berth at the 2008 Olympics in China.

But he bowed out in the first round after losing to Taiwanese player Hsieh Yu Hsing.

Now at 29, expectations are still high for Minh's performance at this year's Olympics. This will probably be his last shot at the Games.

Minh is now competing as the second seed at the Grand Prix Gold contest in Malaysia. The event is a chance for him to earn some points to get back into the world top 10.

Vietnamese athletes have won 15 berths at the London Olympics. They are Le Huynh Chau and Chu Hoang Dieu Linh in taekwondo, Phan Thi Ha Thanh, Pham Phuoc Hung and Do Thi Ngan Thuong in gymnastics, and Hoang Xuan Vinh and Le Thi Hoang Ngoc in shooting.

The other athletes are Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc in athletics, Van Ngoc Tu in judo, Nguyen Tien Nhat in fencing, Nguyen Thi Lua in wrestling, duo Pham Thi Thao and Pham Thi Hai in rowing, Tran Le Quoc Toan in weightlifting and Nguyen Tien Minh in badminton.

Other Vietnamese athletes who have met the Olympic B standard like swimmer Hoang Quy Phuoc and Anh Vien and high jumper Duong Thi Viet Anh still have hopes of winning a berth at the Olympics.

Based on the Vietnamese athletes' international results this year, pundits expect lifter Quoc Toan, gymnast Ha Thanh and taekwondo artists Huynh Chau and Dieu Linh will win medals at the event.

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