After competing in the Olympic Games for 64 years, Vietnam has finally earned its first ever gold medal thanks to 41-year-old Hoàng Xuan Vinh. The military officer won the men’s 10 meter air pistol event Saturday to make history for his home country.
Vinh was neck in neck with Brazil’s Felipe Almeida Wu during the final round, but ultimately prevailed with a score of 202.5, beating Wu by just 0.4 points.
“I’m very lucky, it’s the first gold medal in Vietnam’s history, I feel very lucky, thank you everybody,” Vinh said at a press conference. “Making this gold medal is a life memory, never forget this. Because (it is the) first time making a gold medal for Vietnam.”
This is a huge turnaround for Vinh compared to the 2012 London Olympics, where he failed by make the finals by one point and finished 9th place in the 10 meter air pistol. Shortly after, he suffered another crushing blow by getting 4th in the 50 meter air pistol, missing the bronze medal by just 0.1 points. Looks like all his hard work has finally paid off this year.
“There are no words to describe how happy I am. We work very hard, and everything is worth the pain. Pain on my shoulder, pain in my back, but I will forget about all this pain now.” Vinh said.
“It is just perfect. I hope that the sport of shooting becomes more popular in Brazil. I don’t know how, but I hope people get interested for this sport and start to practice, and I think that is a good thing, to win a medal. I hope it will be good for shooting.” he added.
Aside from this honorable achievement, Vinh also won the gold medal for the 10 meter air pistol at the ISSF world cup in 2013 and 2014.