Weightlifter Thach Kim Tuan won the gold medal in the boys' 56kg category as the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore opened on Sunday.
The 16-year-old lifted a total of 256kg, handily beating Chinese silver medalist Xie Jiawu and Armenian bronze medalist Smbat Margaryan by 2kg with 13kg respectively.
Tuan came to Singapore with a lot of hopes pinned on him after he won gold at the Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championship in Dubai in December 2009.
At the Youth Olympic Games, Tuan faced stiff competition from his Chinese and Armenian rivals with the latter already a silver medal winner at the European Youth championship.
In the snatch category, Tuan lifted 116kg while Jiawu lifted 117kg and Margaryan lifted 108kg.
In the clean and jerk category, the Armenian lifted 135kg in his first attempt while Tuan and the Chinese contestant lifted 134kg and 132kg respectively.
Then, Jiawu lifted 137kg while Tuan and Margaryan failed with 139kg and 149kg respectively.
In the deciding round, Tuan succeeded in lifting 140kg, while Jiawu and Margaryan failed at 140kg and 149kg respectively.
On the opening day of the August 14-26 event, Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Hong finished fourth in the 48kg category for women with a total weight of 151kg.
Hong's result was three kilos less than Venezuelan bronze winner Rodriguez, 12kg less than Thai silver winner and 39kg shy of the Chinese gold winner.
Vietnam's further medal hopes are pinned on taekwondo artist Nguyen Thanh Thao.
Vietnam's previous best results at the Olympic Games have been a silver medal won by taekwondo martial artist Tran Hieu Ngan at Sydney in 2000; and a weightlifting silver won by Hoang Anh Tuan at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.