Monday, December 5 2016

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Vinh eyes second Olympic shooting medal

Update: August, 10/2016 - 09:00
Hoàng Xuân Vinh of Việt Nam celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men’s 10m air pistol final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Shooting events in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday. He will take part in the 50m pistol event today. — EPA/VNA Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Olympian winner Hoàng Xuân Vinh will hunt for his second gold medal, this time in the men’s 50m pistol event tonight in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Vinh won the gold medal in the just concluded men’s 10m air pistol event at the Games on Sunday.

It will also be the second time Vinh will go for gold in the 50m pistol event in the Olympics.

Four years ago in London, the Vietnamese ranked fourth, just 0.1 point less than the bronze medal winner.

It was one of the biggest mistakes of his career, he admitted.

Vinh would have taken the bronze after the eighth shot in the final with a safe gap with rivals who were ranked below him.

He needed an easy shoot of eight points but he wasted his chance with only 7.3, then he was out of the top three with only 658.5 points. Chinese Wang Zhiwei claimed the bronze with 685.6.

“I have thought about that sad memory before taking part in this year’s Olympics. But that moment has passed now and also the 10m air pistol victory. Now I am focussed on my upcoming event,” Vinh said.

Vinh’s latest international result was a silver medal at the World Cup in Germany last year.

His coach Nguyễn Thị Nhung spoke with utmost caution about his chances today.

“I can say that Vinh is one of the 25 best marksmen in the world in this event. It means that there are two dozen other athletes at the same level with him. So we cannot say anything before the competition,” Nhung said.

“He may shoot worse than he can if he does not keep his mind stable. But I promise that we will take part in this event with the same determination ahead of the 10m air pistol. We will not let Sunday’s gold medal and the loss four years ago affect our result,” Nhung added.

Another Vietnamese to compete in this event is Trần Quốc Cường who did not make the final eight in the 10m air pistol pool.

Cường has stuck to shooting for nearly 20 years but this is his first Olympics.

He has won many gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games and a bronze at the Asian Games in South Korea two years ago.

As per the schedule, Vinh and Cường will take part in the qualification round at 7pm Hà Nội time. The final will be at 10pm.

Their key rivals will be Jin Jongoh of South Korea, Brazil’s Felipe Almeida Wu and China’s Pang Wei.

Jin, 36, has grabbed three golds and two silvers from three Olympics and is currently World No 1 in this event.

Wu has been known in recent years but he recorded remarkable results. He won a gold at this year world championship in Bangkok and was No 1 at the Pan American Games in 2015.

Pang is a young competitor in shooting but he grabbed a gold in Beijing in 2008 after winning at the world tournament in 2006 and the World Cup 2007.

All of them strongly competed against Vinh in the 10m air pistol. Wu just lost to Vinh in the last shot to take silver. Pang secured a bronze while Jin failed to defend his title with a fifth position finish.

Apart from shooting, the fencers also compete today.

Asian bronze medallist Vũ Thành An will take part in the men’s sabre event while Đỗ Thị Anh will test the women’s foil.

In the third day of the competition yesterday, swimmer Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên finished her Olympic journey in disappointment.

The 20-year-old finished seventh in the third heat of women’s 200m individual medley with a time of 2min 16.20sec.

This result could not push her into the semi-finals and was also much worse than her personal best of 2:12.33 that she made at the world championship last year.

Viên, who competed in three events at the Olympics, failed to make the final of any event she targeted.

“It is a bad result. My swimming was not good today and caused the unexpected result,” Viên said when she stepped out of the pool.

“I really hoped to do well in the 400m IM but failed. The next two events were worse than what I can usually do. I want to apologise to everyone,” a teary-eyed Viên said.

“It is a big tournament with strong rivals. When competing here I know where I am and my goal will be to do better,” Viên said.

The athlete whose coach said she was at her best at the 2020 Olympics said she would be back to train for the Asian and the world championship later this year.

In fencing, Southeast Asian Games winner Nguyễn Thị Lệ Dung could not spring a surprise in the women’s sabre event.

Dung was defeated 3-15 by South Korean Kim Ji-yeon, who is the defending champion, in the last-16 round on Monday.

Dung was the second Vietnamese fencer stopped after Nguyễn Thị Như Hoa in the women’s epee on Saturday.

After three days, the United States remain the top team in the medal tally with five golds, seven silvers and seven bronzes.

China have the same number of golds but only three silver, and sit second. Australia are at third place, with four medals. – VNS

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