While shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh made history for Vietnam by snatching the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal on Day 1 at Rio 2016, the rest of Vietnam’s athletes have begun their journey without success.
Weightlifter Thach Kim Tuan, a silver medalist in Beijing 2008, entered the men’s 56kg category with the hope from supporters back home that he could change the color of the medal this time.
However, the Vietnamese appeared stressed and anxious, apparently under huge pressure for a medal.
In the snatch competition, Tuan started with 130kg, but failed at his third attempt to raise the weight to 133kg.
In the clean and jerk, the Vietnamese lifter failed all three attempts at 154kg and then 157kg, and was eventually eliminated.
Tuan was even outperformed by his teammate Tran Le Quoc Toan, who finally ranked fifth after lifting a total weight of 275kg.
Vuong Thi Nguyen, the female teammate of Tuan and Toan, was also eliminated in the women’s 48kg event after three failed attempts in the snatch competition.
Also on Day 1, Vietnamese swimmers Hoang Quy Phuoc and Nguyen Thi Anh Vien both could not make it in their men’s 200m freestyle and women’s 400m freestyle events.
Phuoc finished 41st, whereas Vien ranked 26th in the preliminary rounds of their competition.
Vietnamese swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien competes in the women’s 400m freestyle event. Photo: Reuters
Vietnamese fencer Nguyen Thi Nhu Hoa also lost to French rival Mallo Auriane in the Round of 64 in the women’s individual épée category. Judoka Van Ngoc Tu was stopped in the Round of 16 in the women’s 48kg event following a defeat against South Korea’s Jeong Bokyeong.
In gymnastics, Pham Phuoc Hung ranked a lowly 18th in the men's parallel bars event.
On Day 2 (August 8 Vietnam time), Vietnam will put the country’s medal hopes on the shoulders of swimmer Vien and fencer Nguyen Thi Le Dung.
Dung will face South Korean Jim Jiyeon in the Round of 32 in the women’s individual sabre event at 8:00 pm, while Vien will start her last competition at Rio 2016 – the women’s 200m individual medley at 0:05 am August 9 (Vietnam time).
The shining light of Team Vietnam during the first day of Rio 2016 was the historic men’s 10m air pistol gold medal snatched by shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh.
This is the first gold for Vietnam since the country’s first Olympics in Helsinki in 1952.
Vietnam previously earned a silver in taekwondo at Sydney 2000, and another silver by Thach Kim Tuan in Beijing eight years later.
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