Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Coach Huỳnh Hữu Chí has affirmed that weightlifter Thạch Kim Tuấn will get a medal in the men’s U56kg at the upcoming Rio Olympic Games.
“We have trained in the US for nearly four months for the Olympics. I am sure that he will earn a medal,” said Chí.
According to Chí, Tuấn’s training achievement exceeds his result of 287kg in the total lift in the men’s U56kg at the World Weightlifting Championships last year which brought him a bronze medal.
Tuấn will target to lift 140kg in the snatch, 163kg in the clean-and-jerk and over 300kg in the total lift in Brazil.
But over the next few days, the 22-year-old Tuấn must lose weight to become under 56kg to match his registered weight category (when he arrived in Brazil he weighed 57.4kg).
Good news for Vietnamese fans ahead of the upcoming Rio Olympic Games is that Tuấn, Việt Nam’s biggest medal hope, has nearly recovered from a previous injury.
Answering the media in Brazil, coach Huỳnh Hữu Chí said Tuấn’s injury isn’t too serious and he is still training hard for the event.
Tuấn’s two main rivals in the world’s foremost sports competition will be Long Qingquan of China, who won gold in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and Om Yun Chol of North Korea, who won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
“Tuấn has a lot of experience via international events, but Tuấn’s biggest rival is himself,” added Chí.
Tuấn, who was born in the southern province of Bình Thuận, has had very stable results over the past three years. At the World Weightlifting Championships in 2014, his performance of 286kg in the total lift was equivalent to Om’s result, but Tuấn came second because he was heavier than his rival by 40g. At the world event last year, Tuấn only bagged a bronze medal with a total lift of 287kg as he was suffering from a knee injury.
Việt Nam is also pinning its hopes on weightlifter Vương Thị Huyền, who won two silvers and a bronze in the women’s 48kg at the World Weightlifting Championships last year. She also won a silver medal in the Asian championships in April and two gold medals at the Asian event held last year.
Vietnamese weightlifters will start their competition on August 7.
To encourage athletes to compete well, the Việt Nam Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Federation has announced it will award US$3,000 to gold medallists, and $2,000 and $1,000 for the runners-up.
In other news, shooter Hoàng Xuân Vinh is targeting a slot in the finals of the men’s 10m air pistol and 50m pistol, according to his coach Nguyễn Thị Nhung.
“It is an important thing as it is a premise for him to strive further. He will not become giddy under the psychological load,” said Nhung.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, he finished ninth in the men’s 10m air pistol in the qualifying round, failing to make the cut for the finals by a single point. He also failed to win a medal, taking the fourth place in the men’s 50m pistol final with a score only 0.1 less than the winner of the bronze medal.
To prepare for the Olympic Games, Vinh has honed his skills via many international and continental tournaments and trained in South Korea and the US.
Vinh, 42, has won many medals in tournaments in the country, SEA Games as well as Asian and world events. Now he is hoping for an Olympic medal.
Meanwhile, swimmer Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên will compete in three out of four events as planned. She will take part in the women’s 400m medley, 400m freestyle and 200m medley. — VN