Badminton Life

Olympic Among Vietnam Retirees

However, their plans hit a major hurdle when some key potential stars of the future, all members of the Ho Chi Minh City team of whom one is an Olympian, decided to retire from the sport

Tran Nguyen Tri Dung told Vietnamese media that six players have decided to hang up their racquets. The retiring players are Nguyen Quang Minh, Tran Thanh Hai, Le Thi Thanh Thuy, Le Ngoc Nguyen Nhung, Nguyen Thanh Thao and Dinh Nguyen Thanh Nhan.

Le Ngoc Nhuyen Nhung was part of the Vietnamese Olympic team, having received a wild card into the women's singles competition.

She made a good impact on the tournament, beating Sri Lanka's Thilini Jayasinghe 21-13, 21-12 in the qualifying tournament.

However, she said that she cannot afford to play badminton any longer because she has to look after her parents.

"I am an only child. I decided to retire after many years of competition to take care of my elderly parents and to study at the Sports Teacher's College in HCM City," said the 24-year-old Nhung.

Dung, who is the head of the team, is also joining the players in leaving the team.

"The badminton section and the training coach tried their best to persuade me to stay but in the end respected my decision," said Dung.

"This is a major blow to the city's badminton team. They must now look to the future and build a new team."

The retirements come just when the HCM City team are due to compete in the National Championships in the northern provice of Bac Giang.

Despite the losses, the HCM City Badminton Federation is determined to find new players to take up the mantle.

"The HCM City team will have problems in this championship because its young players don't have much competition experience," said the federation's deputy chairman Huynh Thi Ngoc.

"We will concentrate on the long term. The Federation plans to invite foreign coaches to help with training. But we need the support of the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism if we are to be a force in the future."

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