Nguyen Hai Dang and Le Duc Phat Advance to Quarterfinals at Fajr International Challenge

Trang Napie

Wed Feb 07 2024

Fajr International Challenge 2024
Nguyen Hai Dang
Le Duc Phat
Paris 2024 Olympic Games
World Rankings

Vietnamese badminton players Nguyen Hai Dang and Le Duc Phat have both made it to the quarterfinals of the Fajr International Challenge 2024 in Iran. Despite being ranked 85th and 93rd in the world, respectively, they are determined to earn crucial points on their journey to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

In their campaign at the Fajr International Challenge 2024 in Iran, both Nguyen Hai Dang and Le Duc Phat have been successful in their efforts to collect valuable points. After defeating Kuswanto Kuswanto from the United Arab Emirates in the round of 64, 9th seed Le Duc Phat comfortably overcame the home player Ali Hayati, ranked 489th in the world, with a score of 21-15, 21-19 in the round of 32.

However, the journey became more challenging for Vietnamese player Le Duc Phat in the round of 16, as he faced Canadian representative B. R. Sankeerth, ranked 159th in the world. Despite the tough battle, the talented military player eventually advanced to the quarterfinals with a score of 21-16, 18-21, 21-18. In the quarterfinals, Le Duc Phat will face Ayush Shetty from India, the 15th seed in the tournament, in a highly anticipated match.

On the other hand, Nguyen Hai Dang's journey appears to be smoother. Famously known as the "Little Momota," he began with a victory over Uma Maheshwar Reddy Gopireddy from India, with a decisive score of 21-9, 21-10 in the round of 64. He continued his success by defeating Nima Rostampourlagaldani, ranked 1057th in the world and representing the host country, with a dominant score of 21-8, 21-6 in the round of 32. In the round of 16, the 13th seed had an easier path as his opponent, Somi Romdhani from Tunisia, ranked 131st in the world, retired while Nguyen Hai Dang was leading 21-9, 10-4. However, he needs to be cautious in the quarterfinals as he will face the 11th seed, Meiraba Luwang Maisnam from India, who is ranked 93rd in the world.

In the parallel Thailand Masters 2024 tournament, Singapore's former world champion in 2021, Loh Kean Yew, only needed 27 minutes to eliminate Israeli player Misha Zilberman with a score of 21-9, 21-6, securing a spot in the quarterfinals. With three more victories, Loh Kean Yew aims to claim his first World Tour title since 2021. He is currently the 2nd seed, the highest remaining seed in the men's singles category in Bangkok. Although the reigning world champion has dropped out of the top 10 rankings recently, winning the first World Tour title since the Hylo Open 2021 would somewhat alleviate that disappointment.

In the women's singles category, the battle for Olympic seeding for Paris 2024 is becoming intense, adding more pressure to Vietnamese player Nguyen Thuy Linh. Nozomi Okuhara, ranked 20th in the world, and Aya Ohori, ranked 15th in the world, both scored victories that increase Japan's chances of securing two Olympic berths with two representatives in the top 16 of the race to France. The trio of Thai beauties - Ratchanok Intanon, ranked 13th in the world, Supanida Katethong, ranked 17th in the world, and Busanan Ongbamrungphan, ranked 19th in the world - continue their winning streak with the goal of achieving similar results as the Japanese players.

Nguyen Hai Dang and Le Duc Phat have displayed exceptional performances at the Fajr International Challenge 2024, with both players advancing to the quarterfinals. Their success in the tournament will contribute to their overall ranking and strengthen their chances of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The competition in both the men's and women's singles categories is fierce, as players from various countries strive to secure their positions in the Olympic seeding. The quarterfinal matches will undoubtedly showcase thrilling badminton action as these talented athletes continue their journey towards Olympic qualification.