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Vietnam pins Olympic hopes on taekwondo, weightlifting
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Vietnam is pinning its hopes on taekwondo and weightlifting at the Beijing Olympic Games next month, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Friday.

Vietnam will be represented by 22 athletes in taekwondo, table tennis, athletics, shooting, badminton, weightlifting, gymnastics and wushu at the world's biggest sports event in China.

"We have our eyes on taekwondo. Three of our athletes clinched automatic berths to Beijing in taekwondo, and I hope they are able to win bronze medals," the newspaper quoted Hoang Vinh Giang, vice president and general secretary of Vietnam's National Olympic Committee, as saying.

Taekwondo athletes Hoang Ha Giang, Nguyen Van Hung and Nguyen Thi Hoai Thu gained their berths at the event.

The country's hope of claiming medals in Olympics also rests on the shoulders of weightlifters Hoang Anh Tuan and Nguyen Thi Thiet.

Vietnam made its Olympic debut in the 1980 Moscow Games, but the country had to wait 20 years for its first Olympic medal, a silver won by taekwondo athlete Tran Hieu Ngan in the women's 57-kg weight category.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2008)

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