Olympic dream: Teenager Hoang Quy Phuoc wins the men's 100m butterfly at the Malaysian Open on Monday. He has become the first Vietnamese athlete to secure a place at the London Olympics. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Thang
HA NOI — Young swimmer Hoang Quy Phuoc has become the first Vietnamese athlete to secure a place at the London Olympics 2012 after he clocked 53.56se in the men's 100m butterfly in the Malaysian Open.
Da Nang-based Phuoc, 17, won a gold medal, breaking the Viet Nam, Southeast Asian Games and event records. At the same time he met the B standard of 54.19 to qualify for the London Olympics.
The SEA Games' record of 53.82 was set by Malaysia's Daniel William Henry Bego in Laos two years ago. Phuoc only clocked 55.65 at that meeting to bring home bronze.
Phuoc, along with Vo Thai Nguyen, who bagged two golds and one silver at Malaysia Open, and Pham Thanh Nguyen, who snatched a silver, won spots in the World Swimming Champions in Shanghai, China, in July.
Phuoc's coach Nguyen Dong Hai said the swim was a milestone for Phuoc's career and Viet Nam swimming.
The result was more admirable because Phuoc had only begun training in Da Nang this year and it was the first time he had swum abroad.
At the event, concluded at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil on Monday, Viet Nam won four golds, five silvers and three bronzes. They ranked behind Hong Kong who took 19 golds, 10 silvers and 17 bronzes.
After the Malaysia Open, selected members of the national team will train in Kunming, China, for the 26th Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia in November. — VNS