The Yonex-Sunrise Vietnam Grand Prix Open 2013 kicked off on December 2 at Phan Dinh Phung Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, with nearly 240 shuttlers from 13 countries around the world fighting it out for a slice of the 50,000 USD cash prize.

Vietnam has fielded a strong lineup of 32 players to compete in the men’s and women’s singles and doubles events and the mixed doubles category.

The hosts Pham Cao Cuong and Nguyen Hoang Nam (men’s singles), Vu Thi Trang and Le Thu Huyen (women’s singles), and Nguyen Hoang Nam – Duong Bao Duc (men’s doubles) have received byes to the main round, while the other players must win in the preliminary rounds to advance.

This year’s men’s singles discipline sees the absence of reigning champion Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam, who has decided to skip the event to prepare for the 27th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 27) in Myanmar.

Minh clinched his fourth Vietnam Open title at last year’s event by defeating Takuma Ueda from Japan in two straight sets 21-14 and 21-19.

The annual tournament, which runs through December 8, is the final rehearsal for Vietnamese shuttlers ahead of the up-coming 27th SEA Games.-VNA