|Trương Thị Kim Tuyền of Việt Nam (right) tries to kick Fariza Aldangorova of Kazakhstan during their semi-finals of the women's U49kg category at the Asian Qualification Tournament for Tokyo Games in Amman, Jordan, on May 21. Photo courtesy of World Teakwondo
HÀ NỘI — Trương Thị Kim Tuyền earned Việt Nam's eighth Olympic slot on Friday night in Amman, Jordan.
The taekwondo martial artist secured a berth in the final of the Asian Qualification Tournament for the Tokyo Games' women's U49kg category against Su Po-ya of Chinese Taipei.
The two finalists of each weight class win automatic slots to the Games, regardless of the result in the final.
The Vietnamese athlete earlier defeated Aneila Aysha Afsar of Pakistan 22-8 and Fariza Aldangorova of Kazakhstan 26-2 in previous rounds.
It is the first time the 24-year-old has qualified for the world's largest sporting event.
The Vĩnh Long Province-born fighter has practised taekwondo since she was 14. She pocketed a SEA Games gold medal in 2015, an Asian championship title in 2018, and silver from the world championship in 2017. Tuyền is currently No 12 in the world ranking.
Việt Nam could secure another Olympics slot when Trần Thị Ánh Tuyết competes on Saturday in the women's U57kg. She will face Jennifer Susan Lay Hsiao Seng of East Timor in the first match.
The Jordan qualifier is the last opportunity for Asian competitors to snatch Olympic berths. More than 80 athletes from 28 countries and territories are competing at the event on May 21-22 while the tournament for the Paralympic Games follows on Sunday.
Tuyền's success brings Vietnamese taekwondo back to the Olympics after missing the previous edition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.
Lê Huỳnh Châu and Chu Hoàng Diệu Linh both qualified for London 2012 but they did not perform well.
Trần Hiếu Ngân was the first Vietnamese taekwondo athlete to compete at an Olympics at the 2000 Sydney event. She won a silver in the U57kg pool, which was Việt Nam's first Olympic medal.
To date, Việt Nam have secured Olympic berths in swimming, boxing, gymnastics, archery, rowing and taekwondo. VNS