Vietnamese shooters aim for Tokyo 2020 Olympic places

Monday, 2020-02-17 16:51:37
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Top Vietnamese shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh.
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NDO – Vietnam’s Olympic champion Hoang Xuan Vinh and his teammate Tran Quoc Cuong are training hard in the Republic of Korea (RoK) to prepare for the upcoming ISSF World Cup in India, which is considered the last chance for Vietnamese shooters to accumulate points towards booking Tokyo 2020 places.

Four years ago, Hoang Xuan Vinh wrote a sparkling page in Vietnam’s sporting history by clinching a gold medal in the men’s 10m air pistol event and a silver in the men’s 50m slow fire pistol at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

However, after conquering the glory, the 1974-born marksman has no longer retained his top form, as over the past four years, his international performances have failed to live up to expectations.

Despite that fact, Xuan Vinh, together with his teammate Quoc Cuong, continue to be entrusted at the ISSF World Cup in rifle, pistol and shot gun, scheduled to take place in India from March 15 to 25 – the final tournament taken into account to determine the tickets for the 2020 Olympic shooting event.

Hoang Xuan Vinh celebrates winning the 10m air pistol gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

During the 10-day World Cup, the two best Vietnamese shooters will compete in one category only, 10m air pistol.

Talking to Thanh Nien (Youth) Newspaper on February 16, head coach of Vietnam’s shooting team, Nguyen Thi Nhung, said: “This year, the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) determines the Olympic places based on the athletes’ ratings in the world rankings. Such a strict calculation requires the shooters to achieve high results at the World Cup events.”

Head coach of the Vietnamese shooting team Nguyen Thi Nhung (R) talks with Director of the High-performance Sports Department Hoang Quoc Vinh on the form of shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh.

At present, Xuan Vinh and Quoc Cuong are ranked among the world’s top 25 in the men’s 10m air pistol event. In order to seal a place in Tokyo 2020, they will have to break into the top 16 or 17. This means that the two Vietnamese marksmen will need to make the medal podium in India next month to stand any chance of securing their tickets to Tokyo this summer.

“Xuan Vinh and Quoc Cuong have been under overseas fitness training since January 14. When I arrive in the RoK later this month, I will join specialist Park Chung-gun to offer technical and tactical exercises for the two. All of us will try our best to succeed in the Olympic qualifying campaign,” Nhung said.