After the first weekend of competition at the Rio Olympics that just opened on August 5, some Asian athletes from South Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam have won their countries' first gold medals in Rio, with some of them in unusual sports. One of them won for his country' first-ever gold in the Olympics, and another winner didn't even think she could compete just a few weeks ago. Find out who they are.

1. Vietnam: Hoang Xuan Vinh won the gold in men’s 10m air pistol event. It is Vietnam's first ever gold in any Olympic games. The 41-year-old army officer said the first shots were very stressful, but he took a deep breath to regain his calm. His historic win will certainly be inspirational.

via thanniennews

2 Thailand: 21-year-old Sopita Tanasan won gold in women's 48 kg weightlifting event, by lifting a combined 200 kilos (92 kilos in the snatch and 108 kilos in the clean and jerk). She said, "I expected and hoped for a gold medal. I am very proud to have it. This is the first gold medal of this Olympic Games for Thailand. I am very proud that I got the gold for my country”

via bangkokpost

3. Chinese Taipei (Taiwan, Republic of China): Hsu Shu-Ching won gold in the women's 53 kg weightlifting event, by lifting a combined 212 kilos (100 kilos in snatch and 112 in clean and jerk). She had torn her back leg muscle just 3 weeks before the competition and was worried that she wouldn't even be able to compete. Now she has won her country's first gold in Rio, and also given a Father's Day gift to her father who originally rejected this unusual sport for his daughter. (August 8 is Father's Day in Taiwan, for sounding like Ba-Ba in Chinese.) 

(In another turn of fortune, her silver medal from the 2012 London Games may be upgraded to gold, because the gold winner from Kazakhstan in that event has tested positive for drug use.)

via chinatimes

4. China (People's Republic of China): Zhang Mengxue won gold in women's 10-meter air pistol competition. The first-time Olympian stepped up after her team's leading contender, two-time Olympic champion Guo Wenjun, was eliminated in the qualifying round. Zhang Mengxue's 199.4 score even set a new Olympic record. She said, "I remember a coach told me once, the only person who could destroy me was myself. So I just did my utmost to be myself today."

via chinatimeslatimes

5. South Korea proves its domination in archery: First, the men's archery team, with three rookie Olympians, snatched gold at Rio. Team member and world champion Kim Woo Jin said, "We trusted each other, and it happened. It just happened.”

Just a day later, the women's team garnered their gold with an impeccable performance. Archery champion Ki Bo Bae said, “I thought of all those people who really supported us. It was not won only by the three of us.” The women archers won the 8th gold for their country in the event, capping South Korea's remarkable domination in this sport.


The Rio Olympics has just begun, and there will sure to be more winners from Asian countries. Every athlete who has made it to the Olympic Games has been through a lot of hard work and challenges, and the medal, regardless of which rank, represents a huge honor. Nevertheless, we highlight these men and women who have won the first gold at Rio for their countries because the win gives their team a great psychological boost.

Congratulations to all the medal winners and all the athletes who have tirelessly trained to compete in the Olympic Games.

Are you watching the Olympics Games, or are you cooling off with some chilling dramas?

Find me on twitter @NancyZdramaland

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