Team Ireland Star Nhat Nguyen Off To Winning Start

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Team Ireland Badminton player Nhat Nguyen beat Sri Lankan Niluka Karunaratne 2-0 in a strong display in Group F of the Men’s Singles event.

The 21-year-old never dropped his lead and was 10 points ahead at one point in the game.

Nguyen started strong with his energy clearly shining through his bright start but his opponent pegged him back within reach every time the Team Ireland Olympian tried to run away with it.

A tight first set offered a test for the Dubliner but Nguyen maintained the numerical advantage throughout.

Karunaratne was determined and gave the Vietnamese-born Irishman a big challenge but the 21-year-old was able to pull away in the final third and set up five potential game points to give himself some breathing room.

He only needed two of those, taking the set courtesy of a mistake from the Sri Lankan.

There were some magnificent rallies throughout the game, most notably two rallies at the beginning of the second set, with varying results.

However, Karunaratne could not sustain the pressure he put on Nguyen in spells.

Nguyen, a first-time Olympian, looked impressive against the experienced Karunaratne, who never took the lead throughout the game.

Karunaratne struggled after dipping the first set to the Irish star and the competitive nature of the game slipped away as Nguyen imposed his dominance in the tie.

The combined fourteen possible game points, nine of those match points, is a clear example of the dominant affair the match turned out to be.

Nguyen dropped four of those points with three match points dropped but held on to win in two sets.

The 2-0 win secured a first Olympic victory for the Badminton prospect in his first Olympic match.

Nguyen will now face Chinese Taipei’s Tzu-Wei Wang with a win against the Asian enough to confirm a spot in the last 16 for the young prospect.

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