Nguyen Thi Tam - the first Vietnamese female boxer won a gold medal at the Asian Women's Boxing Championships in 2017 (Photo: VNA)
World No 1 Park Mi Choi of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will not box at the summer Games after her country decided to withdraw. Her absence gives chance to boxer Nguyen Thi Tam who will take part in the women's 51kg category.
Tam on July 4 received confirmation on the berth. It will be the first time ever a Vietnamese female boxer will take part at the Olympics.
Tam is currently the nation's top female boxer and SEA Games defending champion in her category.
The former Asian champion and Asian Games bronze holder should have received confirmation earlier if her result at the world championships in 2019 in Russia was not changed.
Tam was announced the winner on points in a quarter-final match against Aetbaeva Liliya of the host. Having a berth in the semi-final meant Tam would win a bronze medal, a historic mark for Vietnam and herself and also secured a berth at Tokyo.
But minutes later the organisers switched their decision and gave the victory to Liliya.
Meanwhile, the International Judo Federation also announced on July 3 that Vietnam’s judoka Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy will compete in the women's 52kg category.
Thuy is ranked No 11 in Asia which is not enough to qualify for Tokyo but moved up one spot after the DPRK withdrew from the tournament, so their eighth-ranked representative Jon Yu Son will not compete.
The 18 Vietnamese athletes to compete in Tokyo comprise three weightlifters, two boxers, two gymnasts, two swimmers, two badminton players, two archers, one marksman, one runner, one taekwondo, one judo and one rowing duo.
The Vietnam delegation of nearly 40 members will leave for the tournament on July 17.