Judo martial artist Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy has received a berth at the Olympic Games later this month, making her Vietnam's 17th athlete to secure a spot at the event in Tokyo.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy (left) will represent Vietnamese judo at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo sggp.org.vn
The International Judo Federation (IJF) confirmed on Saturday morning that Thuy would compete in the women's 52kg category.
The 26-year-old is ranked No 11 in Asia which is not enough to qualify for Tokyo but moved up one spot after North Korea withdrew from the tournament, so their eighth-ranked representative Jon Yu Son will not compete.
"We are pleased to have an official slot at this Olympics. It is a strong encouragement for Thủy personally and Việt Nam. She and her coach are training hard and received two vaccine shots. They will definitely compete in Japan," said Nguyễn Hữu An, head of the judo department of the Việt Nam Sport Administration.
Previously, Thủy was No 6 and was Việt Nam judo's top hope for the Olympics. But the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented her from entering tournaments, including the world championship last month in Hungary, which caused her to fall in the rankings.
It will be her first Olympics and the third in a row for Vietnamese judo. In the 2012 and 2016 editions, Văn Ngọc Tú took part in the women's 48kg category. Previously, Việt Nam had judo representatives compete in the 1964 and 1996 Games.
The other 16 Olympics slots for Việt Nam are in boxing, gymnastics, badminton, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, athletics, rowing, weightlifting and archery.
When she won the Asian championship title in 2018, Truong Thi Kim Tuyen dreamed an Olympic dream.