Paralympics 2016: Vietnam wins first-ever gold, breaks world record

Friday, 2016-09-09 11:11:05
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Le Van Cong has made history with the first-ever gold medal for Vietnamese disabled athletes at the Paralympics. (Credit: Reuters)
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NDO – In the first competition day of the ongoing Rio Paralympics, Vietnam struck ‘gold’. Power-lifter Le Van Cong won the first-ever gold medal at a Paralympics for Vietnam and set a new-world record of 183kg in the men’s 49kg category.

>>> 2016 Rio Paralympics kicks off

Cong was among the first two Vietnamese athletes to open the competition for the home team in Rio yesterday. The 1984 born weightlifter previously held the world record with 182kg set in 2015.

The medal hope for Vietnam sports at Rio Paralympics was successful with 175kg at his first attempt, leaving his rivals behind, as Jordan’s Omar Qarada finished second with only 170kg. Cong also broke the Paralympic record with his first attempt’s result.

However, Qarada grabbed the lead and took the record back with a 177kg lift in his second attempt, while Cong failed in his second attempt of 179kg.

Shortly thereafter, the Vietnamese weightlifter regained his focus and successfully conquered the 181kg, defeating his competitors to win a Paralympic gold medal and break the record.

Cong continued to challenge himself with the weights of 183kg in the fourth attempt and was successful, further breaking the world record set by himself.

Jordanian Qaeda ranked second with 177kg and Hungarian Tunkel Nandor in third place with 155kg.

Following Vietnam’s first Olympic gold last month with by shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh, Vietnam Paralympians reached a milestone with the historic gold medal secured by Le Van Cong after competing five times in the Paralympic Games since the Sydney Paralympics in 2000.

* Also yesterday, Cong’s teammate Nguyen Ngoc Hiep competed in the long jump contest. However, the 1994 born athlete was unsuccessful and ranked 11th with a best jump of 4.08m. Brazil's Ricardo Costa de Oliveira won gold in the event with the last jump of 6.52m. It was also Brazil's first gold medal at the Rio Paralympics.

* To date, Vietnam is temporarily ranked 16th in the medal count with one gold. The number one position is occupied by the Chinese delegation with seven golds, nine silvers and four bronzes, followed by the UK and Uzbekistan.