VietNamNet Bridge – Top badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh won his first international title of the year, beating host rival Boonsak Ponsana 21-16, 21-13 in the men's singles final of the SCG Thailand Grand Prix Gold yesterday, July 26.
Minh, the tournament second seed, took only 37 minutes to beat the third seed Ponsana.
Olympian Minh beat three Thai players and one South Korean to win his first title of the year after missing the Aviva Singapore Super Series, Drajum Indonesia Super Series and Bingo Bonanza Philippines Grand Prix Gold.
Minh also beat host rival Pakkawat Vilailak 21-18, 21-11 in the semi-final on Saturday and Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in the quarter-final on Friday.
Last month, the HCM City-born athlete, who ranks 14th in the world, shocked world No 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia 24-22, 20-22, 21-19 in the second round of the Aviva Singapore Super Series.
Minh, 24, who became the first Vietnamese Olympian badminton player at the Beijing Games last year, has secured three sponsorship contracts in the past two months.
Becamex Binh Duong Company, which owns the Binh Duong football team, has agreed to sponsor him with VND20 million (US$1,100) a month for one year.
HCM City-based Victor sportswear company signed a four-year sponsorship deal with Minh, providing him with $2,000 a month. The firm also agreed to cover Minh's fees for three Asian tournaments each year. HCM City Construction Company No 1 chipped in with $555 a month.
The $120,000 Thailand Grand Prix is the third season of Badminton World Federation's Grand Prix Gold and Grand Prix with 13 tournaments contested.