( Photo: Badmintonphoto )
BEC Time Travel: Welsh International 2017
Date: 11/28/2020 12:04 PM
Published by : Emilie Sommer (BEC)

This week, the Welsh International would have taken place. Due to the COVID-19 situation the tournament has been cancelled. Badminton Europe looks back at previous editions of the tournament and today we take a look at 2017 Welsh International featuring winner Nhat Nguyen.

Nguyen, despite still being a junior at that point, was the seventh seed at the tournament. The Irishman had everything fall into place for him that week. 

- I remember that tournament well. Everything went in my favour that week even though it was a tough week. I played singles and doubles, where I got to the semifinals also. 

From junior to senior

Nguyen was still as a junior when he participated in the Welsh International in 2017. 

A few months before playing the Welsh International, Nguyen had won the Irish U19 Open in men’s singles and men’s doubles. But junior tournaments and senior tournaments can be quite different, which was something the Irishman also noticed. 

- In junior tournaments, I had more expectations to win. But when I played senior tournaments, I had fewer expectations and played more freely since I was still a junior at the time, so I think that was the main reason I did quite well in the senior tournaments that year. 

The first senior title

As mentioned earlier, Nguyen had won the Irish U19 Open just a few months before going to Wales. But besides winning the Irish U19 Open in both men’s singles and doubles, one week after, he also won the Polish International in men’s doubles. His very first senior title. 

Even with three tournament titles just a few months earlier, Nguyen did not expect to win the tournament in Wales but had still set his expectations high. 

- I definitely had high expectations for that tournament since I was playing quite well leading up to the tournament but never thought about winning. I just wanted to perform well and see where that took me. 

- The win definitely gave me the confidence and motivation to keep working hard. It showed that I was going in the right direction. 

A lucky ending

Even though it is three years since he won the tournament, a lot of the matches still stands clear and especially the final against second seed Gurusaidutt R. M. V. from India. 

- I remember most of the matches, but the final stands out the most. I had three or four match points and I nearly blew it! Also, I was quite lucky at the end with some net cords going in my way so yeah, I was quite lucky at the end of the game. 

Nguyen won the final 21-16 23-21 and could claim the gold and title. 

One year later, Nguyen cemented his status as one of the top junior talents in Europe when winning the bronze at the European Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. 

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