Icons of Asia: Hoang Anh Tuan

Vietnamese weightlifter Hoang Anh Tuan wrote his name in the annals in 2008, when he become the second athlete from his country – after Taekwondo star Tran Hieu Ngan in 2000 – to win an Olympic medal.

Tuan shot to fame when he won the silver medal at the Junior World Championships in 2005 before winning bronze in the World Championships later that year, both in the men’s -56 kg class.

He continued to excel the following year, winning the bronze medal at the 2006 World Championships, although is 276kg combined lift was 3kg lighter than what he managed the year before.

Later that year, at the Asian Games, he showed a dramatic improvement in his performances and won the silver medal with the total of 285kg.

By 2008, he had established himself as one of the most accomplished weightlifters in the -56 kg class and after winning the gold at the Asian Championships with a total of 279kg, he went to the Summer Olympics in Beijing as one of the favourites for a medal.

The then-23-year-old proceeded to write his name into the history books when he lifted 290kg in Beijing to win the silver medal, a performance that was enough to see him named the 2008 Vietnam Sportsman of the Year.

Major achievements:

Olympic Games: Silver (1)
Asian Games: Silver (1)
World Championships: Bronze (2)