Weightlifter makes history with Vietnam’s first Paralympic gold

By Duc Dong   September 9, 2016 | 10:23 am GMT+7
Weightlifter makes history with Vietnam’s first Paralympic gold
2016 Rio Paralympics - Powerlifting Final - Men's -49kg Victory Ceremony - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 08/09/2016. From left, Omar Qarada (JOR) of Jordan holds his silver medal, Le Van Cong (VIE) of Vietnam holds his gold medal and Nandor Tunkel (HUN) of Hungary holds his bronze medal following men's Paralympic Powerlifting competition. Photo by Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

The thirty-two-year-old weightlifter born with deformed legs set a new world record.

Vietnam has won its first ever medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in style with weightlifter Le Van Cong breaking the world record in the men’s 49kg class by lifting 183kg.

“I hope this gold medal will motivate the less fortunate to strive,” the Paralympic champion told VnExpress. “I also hope that this achievement will make other Vietnamese athletes more confident when they compete at the Paralympics to win many more medals.”

The weightlifter, who was born with deformed legs, entered the event as the current world record-holder with a 182kg lift he set in 2015.

Le Van Cong celebrates after setting a new world record in the mens 49kg class. Photo by Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

Le Van Cong celebrates after setting a new world record in the men's 49kg class. Photo by Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

Knowing that he had already secured gold, the Vietnamese lifter went on to make history with his first Olympic record. The men’s 49kg class had nine athletes competing for medals, with each one allowed three lifts. Cong managed 181kg on his second attempt, while his biggest rival Omar Qarada of Jordan failed to make the weight.

The bronze medal went to Hungarian weightlifter Naldo Tunkel.

Vietnam got a taste of its first Olympic gold last month with a record-breaking performance by shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh but, until Le Van Cong’s victory yesterday, the country still held a zero-medal record at Paralympic Games since the delegation’s debut at the 2000 games in Sydney.

Besides Cong, the Vietnamese team also have high hopes for swimmer Vo Thanh Tung, a world-class athlete and the Asia record-holder in the men's 50m freestyle.

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> Shooter secures Vietnam's first Olympic gold medal

> Vietnam shooter makes history with second Olympic medal

 
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