World elite badminton athlete Nguyen Tien Minh has maintained his position in the top 10, although he has dropped in the rankings by a remarkable number of points.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has released its latest ranking, which placed Minh at No 10, with 48,390 points.

Minh lost 2,787 points after the Vietnam team was not permitted to compete at last week's Thomas Cup because the BWF had changed their rules.

The Vietnamese were extremely surprised by his position as he had been prepared for the drop in rank.

"At the age of 31, I knew that sooner or later, I would drop out of the top 10. It is unbelievable that I am still in the ranking [following Vietnam's absence]. This will greatly encourage me ahead of the two major tournaments next month," Minh said.

The nation's best athlete is currently training hard for YONEX Open Japan and the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier.-VNA