|Hoàng Xuân Vinh of Việt Nam (right) poses with South Korean four-time Olympic shooting champion Jin Jong-oh in Hà Nội's National Sport Training Centre in 2018. Vinh is expected to have his second Olympics this July. Photo danviet.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam have received an invitation to compete in shooting at the coming Tokyo Olympics.
In a letter, the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) offered a slot to one Vietnamese athlete in the men's 10m air pistol category and asked the local federation to send an outstanding or well-known marksman to the Games this July.
At the last Games in Rio five years ago, Vietnamese shooter Hoàng Xuân Vinh secured the country's first Olympic gold in the 10m air pistol.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced many tournaments to be cancelled or delayed, Vinh and his teammates failed to secure a berth in Tokyo.
The Việt Nam Shooting Federation (VSF) will likely choose between Vinh and his teammate Trần Quốc Cường for selection.
The 47-year-old Vinh became the first Vietnamese shooter to rank No 1 in the world after his Olympic victory, but has performed poorly since and now sits at No 38.
Meanwhile Cường, also 47, had his best result at the Beijing ISSF World Cup in 2010. The former SEA Games champion, who also competed in Rio in 2016, is now No 19.
"We will discuss and confirm with the ISSF and the International Olympic Committee before June 18. Vinh might be picked. We will not miss this chance," said Nguyễn Thị Nhung, VSF general secretary.
On his side, Vinh was happy about the invitation.
"I knew about it for several days. I am excited about it. (If selected) I would do my best to make something at the Tokyo," Vinh was quoted as saying by danviet.vn.
"My teammates and I are training in Hà Nội. Due to COVID-19, our training schedule is affected a lot but we have to adjust and overcome difficulties. I will have five weeks to prepare for Tokyo," said Vinh.
Shooting is the 14th slot for Việt Nam at the July 23-August 8 event, following those in taekwondo, swimming, gymnastics, boxing, badminton, rowing, archery and weightlifting. More slots in athletics and boxing will be confirmed later. — VNS