Weary Vietnamese badminton star forges ahead to Japan Open

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Despite his present state of exhaustion, badminton ace Nguyen Tien Minh will compete at the 2013 Super Series Yonex Open Japan in Tokyo from September 17-22.

From August 5 through September 8, Minh was busy competing in three international contests: The World Championships, where he took the bronze medal; the Indian Badminton League, where he helped the Pune Pistons advance to the semifinals; and the Grand Prix Gold Yonex Open Chinese Taipei, where he was dethroned in the final match by Son Wan Ho of South Korea.

"Traveling and competing a lot and advancing to the semifinals at the World Championships and entering the final match at the Grand Prix Gold in Taiwan was too much. A young player wouldn't have been able to stand it, let alone a 30-year-old player like me," Minh said. "Now, I just want to relax."

Yet Minh, ranked 5th in the world, must compete at the Yonex Open Japan 2013 because the rules of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) say that the world top 10 players must participate in at least four Super Series contests per year.

If he did not participate in the coming event, Minh would not have another chance to meet the requirements of the BWF rules as he has only competed in two Super Series events so far this year.

Minh has competed at 14 international events so far this year. His current fatigue has been blamed on his playing for the Indian club Pune Pistons, which earned him US$44,000.

Huynh Ngoc Lien, vice chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City Badminton Federation, said, "Playing at important events like the Indian Badminton League is a great honor for Tien Minh and Vietnam. Also, Tien Minh participated voluntarily."

Lien said Minh should consider withdrawing from some less important international competitions like Grand Prix Gold events to save his energy for Super Series contests.

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