It was a memorable moment for Vietnam and Xuan Vinh Hoang, as the Vietnamese won his country’s first ever gold at the Olympic games.
The 41-year-old Vietnamese army member came out on top, after getting 202.5 points from 20 shots in the 10-metre air pistol. Brazil won silver, with Felipe Wu a narrow 0.4 points behind the eventual winner.
China’s Pang Wei took the bronze while defending Olympic champion Jin Jong-oh of South Korea failed to recover from a poor start and finished fifth.
For Hoang it was the realisation of an Olympic dream in a perfect opening day for Vietnam.
“Making this gold medal is a life memory, never forget this,” he said. “Because (it is the) first time making a gold medal for Vietnam.
“The Brazilian shooter very fast and stronger, but I think only ‘try try try’. On the last shot I don’t think gold or silver. I think only try.”
Wu was just as delighted to give the home crowd something to cheer during an epic battle which captivated the locals.
“I am just happy,” he said. “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.”
“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 practise, and I think that is a good thing, to win a medal. I hope it will be good for shooting.”