Nguyen Thuy Linh defeated French player Qi Xuefei 2-0 in her first Olympic women’s badminton group stage game Saturday.
Linh is currently ranked 49th in the world, eight places lower than Qi. But during the game, it only took her 34 minutes to win both sets 21-11.
“I’m really happy and emotional with this victory. Before the game, me and the coach had studied the opponent carefully to find a proper strategy. The result today made up for the difficulties I have faced for over a year,” Linh said after the game.
“The opponent likes to deliver powerful, direct hits so I intentionally played more defensive to stop them. After that, I made use of quick attacks to score,” Linh added.
The 24-year-old is in group P with Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying, Qi Xuefei and Swiss player Sabrina Jaquet.
In the next game on Monday, Linh will face world number one Tai, a heavy contender for the gold medal.
Only the top player from each group would advance to the next round.