HA NOI — Despite not winning an Olympic medal, Hoang Xuan Vinh set a historic record for Viet Nam, finishing in fourth place in the men's 50m pistol event yesterday in London.
Vinh was left out of the top three after scoring 658.5 points - just 0.1 point less than the bronze medal winner, Wang Zhiwei of China.
South Korean Jin Jongoh took the gold with 662 points, followed by countryman Choi Young-rae who scored 661.5.
The Vietnamese marksman was expected to earn a place in the final round before departing for the Games. Yesterday he exceeded expectations when he became the fourth-highest point shooter after the qualification with a score of 563 points.
At one point, Vinh's score was only three points less than that of the third-ranked Wang of China – raising hopes for Viet Nam's first Olympic medal.
Vinh also performed well in the eighth series, jumping to third place with 78 points.
But when his attention faltered for a second, Vinh scored only 7.3 in the ninth series and fell out of the top three. Although he corrected his mistake with 10.2 points in the final series, this was not enough for him to win a medal.
The score, however, was a significant personal achievement: the highest score that Vinh has attained since the start of his career. It was also an achievement for the country, as Vinh was the first Vietnamese shooter to win a place in the Olympics and his fourth place here is the highest honor Viet Nam has achieved in international competitions.
Vinh also took part in the men's 10m air pistol event last week but did not make it to the final round.
After shooting, Viet Nam will compete in London in taekwondo, wrestling and track-and-field events.
Two taekwondo martial artists, Le Huynh Chau and Chu Hoang Dieu Linh, and female wrestler Nguyen Thi Lua will start their competitions on Wednesday, while high jumper Nguyen Thi Viet Anh will compete on Thursday and petite athlete Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc will walk two days later. — VNS