"No regrets" - Nhat Nguyen goes out of the Olympics in fighting style

Nhat Nguyen says he'll use his Tokyo 2020 experience for future Olympics.  The 21-year old Dubliner...


"No regrets" - Nhat Nguyen goes out of the Olympics in fighting style

Nhat Nguyen says he'll use his Tokyo 2020 experience for future Olympics. 

The 21-year old Dubliner lost his final group stage match 21-12, 18-21, 21-12 to Wang Tzu-wei of Chinese Taipei.

Defeat for Nguyen to the men's badminton 10th seed meant he could no longer progress to the last-16.

However, solace can be taken in knowing he pushed one of the world's very best to their limit on the grandest stage of all.

Wang built a comfortable - and ultimately unassailable - lead in the first set, but Nguyen did enough to unsettle his more senior opponent before that set was wrapped up.

He would build on that in the second, producing spectacular defensive work to build up a lead which he eventually converted into a 3-point second set victory.

Playing at his first Olympic Games, Nguyen looked at relative ease on the court despite the gallons of sweat dripping from both competitors. Wang was frequently pushed into errors, while Nguyen's eye for a line call challenge helped frustrate the Taiwanese player.

However, Wang's experience would ultimately prevail in the deciding set - particularly from the mid point onwards when a one or two-point deficit stretched to six and seven points.

Nguyen eventually died with his boots on, 21-12 in the third set to end his hopes in Tokyo but maintaining optimism for all points beyond.

"Mixed emotions", he said of his feelings afterward, "Very proud, and also 11-all in the third set - we were very close - I think he was more aggressive and I didn't handle the situation that well.

"But yeah, I've no regrets because I made a decision myself that yeah, of course he wants to attack, and I was comfortable in defence.

"Next time in this situation I have to be more of the aggressor, but I had no regrets in making that decision.

"Me and my coach said 'right, let's open up the court and counter him. And then he had something wrong with his neck at 15-12 and I thought 'yeah, OK this is a good chance just to test his neck out', but he was even more... maybe it was a little bit of mind games and I think he was a little bit tired.

"But yeah, I have no regrets. What an experience, so no regrets and I'm looking forward to the future because I can use this experience and... the feeling I had on court, I can definitely use it to my advantage."

Nguyen admits his mental energy towards the end of the third set wasn't as sharp as in the second, adding, "but that's normal".

He feels more matches at this level can definitely help him on the road to Paris in 2024.

"I just wanted to leave it all on the court", Nguyen said, "And I felt I left it all on court, fighting and just jumping around. Every point, I didn't want to give up so I'm happy with that.

"Like I said, we'll use this experience for the next couple of Olympics."

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