‘Vietnamese sport has begun a new chapter’.
Vietnamese rejoiced Sunday after their country won its first ever Olympic gold medal.
Hoang Xuan Vinh, a 41-year-old a serving army colonel who first learned to shoot with AK47 rifles, made history in Rio overnight when a near-perfect final shot in the men’s 10-meter air pistol clinched him gold.
Vietnamese state media reported that Vinh would receive $100,000 from the state on his return — a handsome sum in a country where the average annual income is around $2,100.
Vinh’s victory shunted Brazil’s Felipe Almeida Wu and China’s Pang Wei into second and third respectively, something that was seized on by jubilant Vietnamese.
“Vietnamese sport has begun a new chapter,” added Facebook user Nguyen Dat. “Defeating the Chinese athlete, hosts Brazil and the current South Korean champion. So convincing!”
“You are the pride of the nation and the people,” added reader Truong Tran Hoang Du, on the Tuoi Tre newspaper’s website.
Vietnam’s state media said Hoang Xuan Vinh learned how to shoot in the communist country’s military which he joined in 1991, initially practicing on AK47 rifles.
“This victory came from the courageous spirit and the utmost determination of the athlete, his coaches and from key investment ahead of the 2016 Olympics,” Minister of Sports Nguyen Ngoc Thien said.