HA NOI — With only a few weeks remaining before the London Olympic organisers announce the final list of participants, Vietnamese athletes are hastening to pick up the last tickets.
|Strong like Samson: World Weightlifting bronze medallist Tran Le Quoc Toan is expected to compete in London this summer. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhut
Thus far, the country has pocketed eight berths in gymnastic, wrestling, shooting, judo and taekwondo events.
It is expected that badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh, currently world No 10, might also receive a ticket with the World Badminton Federation often inviting the top 50 players to compete at the Olympics.
Swimmers Hoang Quy Phuoc and Nguyen Thi Anh Vien may also still attend the Games having passed the qualifying B standard.
The same goes for Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc, the first Vietnamese walker to pass the standard in history.
Each will have a chance to hit the A standard at upcoming events before the official list is revealed on July 1.
After wrestler Nguyen Thi Lua palmed a ticket in the women's 48kg category her team hopes to earn several more at the world qualifying round in Taiyuan, China, on April 27-29.
VN table tennis team enter the fray
HA NOI — The Vietnamese table tennis team will take part in the Asian zone qualifying round for the 2012 London Olympics, which begin next Thursday in Hong Kong.
The team consists of Tran Tuan Quynh, Dinh Quang Linh, Mai Hoang My Trang and Nguyen Viet Linh.
There are 16 Olympic births up for grabs. However, China, the best team in the world, is expected to send a strong team to the Hong Kong qualifiers, which end on Sunday, to secure the most places in London.
Even if the Vietnamese team do not win places to the London games in Hong Kong, they will get an opportunity to compete for four Olympic places at the qualifiers on May 10-13 in Doha, Qatar. — VNS
Tran Thi Dieu Ninh, who won gold in the SEA Games women's 55kg class, is likely to be another bright face in London.
Rowers will leave for Chungju, South Korea, on Sunday to take part in an Asian qualifying event after 10 days of intensive training on April 26-29.
After two key athletes quit the national team, hope of winning a berth has fallen on the women in the lightweight division.
South Korea will also be the destination for the country's weightlifters, a 10-member team visiting Pyeongtaek City to contest the last two tickets.
The International Weightlifting Federation has ruled that teams finishing in the top four will receive one ticket each.
Viet Nam is expected to be one of these with the presence of world bronze medallist Tran Le Quoc Toan and Youth Olympic winner Thach Kim Tuan, both competing in the men's 56kg category.
In athletics, middle distance runners, including Asian champion Truong Thanh Hang, have been training in Kunming, China, since April 1 ahead of the Asian Grand Prix in Thailand in May. Both walk and marathon teams will join them for six weeks in the coming days. Walker Nguyen Thanh Ngung will try to reduce his time of 1hr 27min to reach the B standard of 1:24.30 while marathon athlete Pham Thi Binh will aim for 2:43 to secure her own berth.
Meanwhile, the fencing team will travel to Wakayama, Japan, on April 19 for the Asian Fencing Championships and an Olympic qualifier for the Asian-Pacific zone.
The qualifying round will take place on April 20-24 while the championships run from April 22-27.
The team will additionally compete in the World Cup, also organised here on April 28-29.
Sabre fencer Nguyen Thi Le Dung, who has dominated the Southeast Asian Games for years, is currently seen as the athlete with the most potential.
Marksmen will show off at the World Cup in London on April 17-29 with Hoang Xuan Vinh and Nguyen Hoang Ngoc having already qualified for the Olympics and the remainder having their sights set on tickets of their own.
Van Ngoc Tu, the only Vietnamese representative in the judo event, will sharpen her skills at the Asian Championships from April 24-30 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, while gymnasts Phan Thi Ha Thanh and Pham Phuoc Hung take part in intensive training in China until the end of May.
The Viet Nam Olympics Committee has set a target of at least 15 athletes qualifying for the Games, organised from July 27-August 12.
Viet Nam has participated in the Olympics since 1980, grabbing two silvers in taekwondo during 2000 in Sydney and in weightlifting during 2008 in Beijing. — VNS