Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese swimmer Võ Thanh Tùng won a bronze medal at the 2016 IPC Swimming European Open Championships in Funchal, on the island of Madeira, Portugal on May 6 (Vietnamese time).
Tùng, born in the southern province of Cần Thơ, finished third in the men’s 50m backstroke S5 category after clocking a time of 39.60secs at the Penteada Olympic Swimming Complex.
Brazil’s 10-time Paralympic champion Daniel Dias won the gold medal with a time of 34.95secs, breaking his own world record of 34.99secs, which he had set in London in 2012. Dias remains unbeaten at the Paralympic Games since 2008 and has promised more records at the world’s biggest event for the disabled.
Mullen Andrew of Great Britain bagged the silver medal with a time of 37.92secs. Andrew had earlier set a European record in the same category with a time of 37.29secs.
“I am very glad to get a bronze medal at this event, which is the last major competition ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. It gave me a chance to hone my skills for the upcoming Paralympics,” Tùng told Việt Nam News.
Earlier, the 31-year-old swimmer ranked fourth in the men’s 50m butterfly S5 with a time of 39.13secs.
The Asian gold medalist will compete in two more categories -- the men’s 100m and 50m freestyle S5.
Tùng bagged a ticket to the games to be held in Brazil this summer after gaining four A standards at the ASEAN Para Games in Singapore last year. Tùng is participating in the Olympic event for the second time.
The swimmer contracted polio when he was four years old and was unable to run around with his friends.
Thanks to swimming,Tùng is now able to live independently and cope with his disability.
Since 2005, no one in the domestic or the Southeast Asian competitions has been able to match him in the 50m, 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly categories.
Tùng made Vietnamese history by winning five gold medals in one tournament at the Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea, in 2014.
Việt Nam has sent five athletes to compete at this year’s European Open Championships, which have been organised locally by the Portuguese Swimming Federation.
The event, which features some 450 athletes from 50 countries, will end on May 7. -- VNS