|Việt Nam Team chef-de-mission Nguyễn Hồng Minh receives the national flag from Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoàng Đạo CươngSports Administration at the send-off ceremony. VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — Vietnamese athletes with disabilities are ready for medals at the 11th ASEAN Para Games after their send-off ceremony on Thursday morning in HCM City.
A 153-strong contingent including 120 athletes and 18 coaches will compete in eight sports -- athletics, swimming, powerlifting, badminton, table tennis, chess, judo and archery -- among 14 available in Solo, Indonesia.
"This will be a tough competition for Việt Nam. In the last three years, most athletes have no chance to compete locally and internationally. Only a small number of them, who were excellent were qualified for big events such as the Tokyo Paralympics," said Nguyễn Hồng Minh, deputy director of the Việt Nam Sports Administration, at the ceremony.
"Sport events were postponed and delayed because of the pandemic. This created challenges for managers to select the best athletes for the Para Games," added Minh who is Việt Nam Team's chef-de-mission.
Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoàng Đạo Cương asked athletes to play hard for the best results while strictly following rules and regulations.
The athletes were also Vietnamese ambassadors to introduce and popularise Việt Nam's beautiful images and friendly people to the world.
World silver medallist in powerlifting Lê Văn Công and track-and-field athlete Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Thúy promised to bring the highest possible result home, equivalent to 40 gold medals.
The 11th Para Games will be held from July 30 to August 6.
Originally it was set to be hosted by Việt Nam in 2021, but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic before being transferred to Indonesia.
Earlier, the 10th edition of the ASEAN Para Games was cancelled by the hosts the Philippines due to a lack of funding stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last ASEAN Para Games in 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia topped the podium with 126 golds, followed by Malaysia (90) and Thailand (68).
Việt Nam with 142 athletes placed fourth grabbing 40 golds and setting 11 records. Athletics and swimming were the delegation's strongest sports. VNS