Tu, 26, is the sole judoka of Vietnam, as well as for all of Southeast Asia, to compete at London.
| Female judoka Van Ngoc Tu of Vietnam celebrates her winning one of the competition. |
She will fight in the first match of the group stage at 9:30am on July 28, and compete until the category ends that day.
The second Vietnamese athlete to join the medal race is Pham Phuoc Hung, who will be competing at the gymnastics – artistic event, followed by swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien at the 400m mixed category.
Shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh will end Team Vietnam’s first competition day with his participation in the 10m rifle category.
At the judo group drawing ceremony held on July 26, Van Ngoc Tu was scheduled to encounter strong rival Sarah Menezes of Brazil in the under-48kg category.
Facing a tough opponent right at the very first game is not what Tu and her coaches expected, they said, despite their acknowledgement that there are no weak rivals at the Games.
Menezes, the event’s second seed, currently stands at third place on the Olympic ranking table of the World Judo Federation. The Brazilian has in her trophy collection a bronze from the 2011 world tournament, and the championship from the 2012 Russia Grand Slam.
Meanwhile, the Vietnamese athlete stands outside the world’s top 50.
In another development, badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh has had his schedule changed.
Instead of facing Indian Parupalli Kashyap on July 28, Minh is now set to play Tan Yuhan of Belgium a day later.
The Vietnamese star is the 10th seed, and the top seed of Group D, where he will be competing in the single-men’s category.
He is in the same group with the world number 21 Kashyap Parupalli of India, and Tan Yuhan of Belgium, the world #54 player.
The single-men’s category consists of 40 players who were divided into 16 groups (eight with three players each, and eight with two each).
Only the top player from each group will advance into the semifinal round.