Le Van Cong won a gold medal in the 49kg weightlifting category, Vietnam’s first ever at the Paralympics, and bettered his own world record in the process at the 2016 Rio Paralympics Thursday.
The 32-year-old athlete from Ha Tinh Province successfully lifted 183 kg to beat Jordan’s Omar Qarada who lifted 177 kg.
Hungary’s Nandor Tunkel won the bronze medal with 155 kg.
“I am so glad to win a Paralympic gold medal and break a world record. Nothing makes me happier than breaking my ownrecord,” Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted him as saying.
“My wish now is to return home as quickly as possible. I have often been away for training and am concerned I cannot spend much time taking care of my wife and child.”
Cong was paralysed in both legs after his mother was contracted dengue fever when she was pregnant with him.
Born into a poor farmer’s family, he migrated to Ho Chi Minh City as a 19-year-old with just VND1 million (US$45) in his pocket and a few clothes.
He has won several medals in national and regional events, including two golds at the 2009 and 2014 ASEAN Para Games and a gold medal at the 2015 Asian Weightlifting Championships.