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Olympics delay helps medal chance, says gymnast Tung

The postponement of the Olympics is considered good news for gymnast Le Thanh Tung who aims for a top result at the Tokyo Games.

Gymnast Le Thanh Tung enjoys the Olympics delay which gives him more time to practise. VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh

Tung is the second Vietnamese athlete to win a berth at the summer Olympics, after his top-eight finish at the 49th Artistic Gymnastics World Championship’s men’s vault event last October in Germany.

While the delay of the biggest sporting event disappointing many world athletes, the Vietnamese former World Cup and Asian championship winner said it was good luck for him.

“The Olympics postponement is good for me because I need time to perfect my technique,” said Tung who failed to earn a single gold at last December’s Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines although he was defending champion in three events, both individual and team.

“In the vault event, there are two attempts and I plan to perform both with a twist and turn in the air. I need to increase the execution and difficulty in both of them. If I can twist more than 180 degrees, my points will be higher.

“The delay means that I will have one year to reach my target and also improve moves in other events,” he said.

His coach Truong Minh Sang was also happy with the change.

“The change forces us to rebuild our plans, from training activities to strengthening his competition mentality. Tung will have one year to sharpen his skills and improve his weaknesses. Time will give us a hand to do the best job,” said Sang.

To increase Tung’s opportunity at the Olympics, South Korean coach Cho Dong Sung has been invited to take care of him.

The experienced trainer guided Yan Hak-seon to the top podium at the London Games in 2012. The athlete overcame many title favourites to get amazing points of 16.533 and grab gold.

 “Cho has changed all training plans since he was here in February. Two months passed and I felt his exercises given to me are good. I have done my jump much better than before.

“He said he would refine all of my faults and weaknesses. I hope that I would make a huge task of earning a medal next July,” said Tung. VNS

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