OLYMPIC MEN’S BADMINTON
TW Wang (Chinese Taipei) 2 – Nhat Nguyen (Ireland) 1
FORMER St David’s Artane student Nhat Nguyen pushed world No 10 Tzu-Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei all the way at the Musashino Forest Plaza but despite leading midway through the deciding set he eventually lost the deciding set 21-12 to see his Olympic dream come to an end.
The 21-year-old, whose family moved to Dublin from Vietnam when he was just six years old, had won his opening match in the group stages. But the world ranked No 54 came up against one of the world’s finest players yesterday morning and just came up short.
While attending St David’s in Artane, Nhat encountered legendary Dublin Gaelic football goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton, who is himself a brilliant badminton player as well as a teacher at the school. Cluxton taught Nguyen maths in third year and physics in sixth year at St David’s and became something of a mentor to the young badminton prodigy.
The pair even set up a badminton club together at St David’s.
“I got on very well with Stephen and helped him with the school team,” Nhat told Sean McGoldrick in a recent Sunday World
“I remember he came to the 2017 Irish Open championship, as did a lot of my school mates, but unfortunately I lost the final.”
“I’d like to give something back to St David’s. I wasn’t in the school much in sixth year and the principal was very understanding.
“I was basically a professional by then and was trying to do two training sessions a day.”
The future is bright for Dublin’s first badminton star, as Paris 2024 quickly comes into view.
PHOTO – SPORTSFILE