Viet­nam wins first-ever gold medal

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

VIET­NAMESE re­joiced yes­ter­day af­ter their coun­try won its first-ever Olympic gold medal, a vic­tory made all the more sweet by the fact that re­gional ri­val China was beaten along the way.

Hoang Xuan Vinh, a 41-year-old 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-me­tre air pis­tol clinched him gold.

Viet­namese state me­dia re­ported that Vinh would re­ceive US$100,000 from the state on his re­turn -- a hand­some sum in a coun­try where the av­er­age an­nual in­come is around $2100.

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.

“So proud! But the great­est hap­pi­ness was that we won over China,” Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen, a Viet­namese mu­sic show host based in the US but pop­u­lar in her home­land, wrote on Face­book.

“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 has shared an intense ri­valry with its gi­ant north­ern neigh­bour for cen­turies – an an­i­mos­ity that has been stoked in re­cent years by com­pet­ing claims in the South China Sea.

Beijing lays claim to vir­tu­ally all of the strate­gic wa­ters, putting it at odds with re­gional neigh­bours the Philip­pines, Viet­nam, Malaysia, Brunei and Tai­wan, which also have par­tial claims.

At least three Chi­nese na­tion­als were killed in 2014 when ri­ot­ing broke out in Viet­nam af­ter Beijing sent an oil rig into con­tested wa­ters.

Last month information screens in ma­jor air­ports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh were com­pro­mised by hack­ers who dis­played anti-Viet­namese and Philip­pines slo­gans with re­gard to the South China Sea.

The at­tack came hours af­ter a Chi­nese vis­i­tor to Viet­nam com­plained that his pass­port was de­faced with pro­fan­i­ties by of­fi­cials at Ho Chi Minh city air­port.

Viet­nam’s state me­dia said Hoang Xuan Vinh learned how to shoot in the com­mu­nist coun­try’s mil­i­tary which he joined in 1991, ini­tially prac­tis­ing 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. – THE Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame wel­comed eight new mem­bers on Au­gust 6 in an emo­tional cer­e­mony fea­tur­ing a quar­ter­back that played for two decades and the first African-Amer­i­can coach to win a Su­per Bowl.

Quar­ter­back Brett Favre, an NFL MVP three straight years be­gin­ning in 1995 and a Su­per Bowl win­ner, played 20 sea­sons and 302 games with four teams – the Atlanta Fal­cons, the Green Bay Pack­ers, the New York Jets and the Min­nesota Vikings.

He was cho­sen to play in 11 Pro Bowls and re­tired with league records for pass­ing yards (71,838), touch­down passes (508), com­ple­tions (6300) and at­tempts (10,169).

Favre also set play­off records for yards (5855), at­tempts (791), and com­ple­tions (481).

The other head­liner of the Hall of Fame class, which was an­nounced in Jan­uary, was for­mer In­di­anapo­lis Colts head coach Tony Dungy.

Dungy first coached the Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers, a team he turned around af­ter be­ing hired in 1996.

Be­fore his ar­rival, Tampa Bay had suf­fered through 12 dou­bledigit los­ing sea­sons in 13 years. Un­der Dungy, they made the play­offs four times be­fore he was fired af­ter the 2001 sea­son.

The Colts hired him just eight days later.

In seven sea­sons, they had 12 or more vic­to­ries a half-dozen times and won a Su­per Bowl, mak­ing Dungy the first African-Amer­i­can coach to win a Su­per Bowl. –

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