Dublin: 10°C Saturday 29 January 2022

'Excited and buzzing' - Nhat Nguyen dominates on Olympic debut

The 21-year-old made a winning start to his first Games and dedicated the victory to his family.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IRISH BADMINTON HOPEFUL Nhat Nguyen impressed on his Olympic bow today, beating Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne in two games.

The Dubliner looked nervous against his vastly experienced opponent initially but ultimately dominated to take the first game 21-16. 

And from there the 21-year-old drove on to take the second 21-14. 

“I am happy to be able to walk off the court as a winner,” Nguyen said afterwards. “I am very grateful for the support that I had today. It was overwhelming walking out to all the staff there with me; my physio, my coach and a couple of others in support as well. I wanted to give my all for every single point, especially for the support I was given. I was happy I was able to do that even though I didn’t play my best, I am happy that I took the win.

nhat-nguyen Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“I feel I shook off the nerves there than rather playing free and playing my style so it was just getting the job done and I was happy that I crossed that line. I have a day to rest with late practise tomorrow. Today gave me a chance to test out the hall so I have no excuses going into the next game unprepared. I am excited and buzzing for it.”


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“I dedicate today’s win to my family and my parents at home,” he continued. “They have sacrificed a lot for me and my sister and I am happy to give back by giving them something to cheer about and something to be happy about. They have worked very hard for us and I am pretty sure that they are working today as they work all day every day! I am going to give them a call after this game and I am happy that I made them proud. That is why I play badminton.”

Nguyen will next face Taiwan’s Wang Tzu-wei on Wednesday, in the three-player pool. If he manages to upset the 10th seed, he’ll guarantee progression to the last 16. 

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