Hoang Xuan Vinh Wins Vietnam’s First Ever Olympic Gold Medal

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On Saturday, Hoang Xuan Vihn made history by winning Vietnam’s first Olympic gold medal in the men’s 10-meter air pistol.

He did so in dramatic fashion – by firing a near perfect final shot and edging out Felipe Almeida Wu of Brazil by just 0.4 points!

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A 41 year-old army colonel in Vietnam, Hoang learned how to shoot by practicing on AK47 rifles. Now that he has accomplished this historical feat for Vietnam, he is expected to receive $131,000 from his home country upon his return, according to Vietnamese state media. That’s quite a hefty sum when you consider that the average annual income in Vietnam is only around $2,760.

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“I’m very lucky, it’s the first gold medal in Vietnam’s history, I feel very lucky, thank you everybody,” said Hoang at a press conference. He added, “Making this gold medal is a life memory, I’ll never forget this. Because [it is the] first time making a gold medal for Vietnam.”

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This gold medal is only the third medal won by Vietnam since it began competing in the Olympics in 1952. It has previously won two silver medals – one in Taekwondo in the 2000 Games in Sydney and one in weightlifting in the 2008 Games in Beijing.

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