Meet the Irish talent who's become the new European under-17 badminton champ

Ex-Irish National Champion in Men's Doubles speaks to Newstalk Sport's Raf Diallo about Nhat Nguyen

BY Raf Diallo 14:54 Monday 28 March 2016, 14:54 28 Mar 2016

Nhat Nguyen, Ireland, in action against Peter Correl, Denmark. 102nd Carlton Irish Open Badminton Championships Qualification, Baldoyle, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

It may have flown under the radar over this Easter weekend, but Irish sport does have an achievement to celebrate.

We now have a European champion at under-17 level as Dubliner Nhat Nguyen beat England's Johnnie Torjuusen in the final to claim the gold medal in Lubin, Poland.

On top of that, Nguyen also won bronze in the Men's Doubles with fellow Irish player Paul Reynolds and remarkably at just 15 years of age, he is already the Irish No 2 in the rankings and a winner of the Irish National Championship this year.

"Nhat's an incredible talent. He's been an unbelievable player from a very young age and he's always played two age groups up from where he was and he's always been beating players who are older than him," said Daniel Magee of Badminton Ireland's national coaching team.  


The former Irish National Champion in Men's Doubles also explained that Nguyen's key strength is his ability to get around the court.

"If you look at Nhat, he's physically quite small but when you put him on court, his court coverage is unbelievable. The way he reads the game, he's always anticipating the shuttle very early. He's fast and he can get up to the height of a shuttle and get a good angle," said Magee, who also highlighted his strong defence and good offensive weapons.

The under-19 European championships are the next big target for the player, while the 2020 and 2024 Olympics would be more long-term goals as he develops his impressive game.

"There's still a long path ahead for him but he's showing all the right signs at the minute that he could be a big contender in the future," said Magee.

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week