Việt Nam's national flag is raised in a ceremony held at the Manahan Stadium in Surakarta, Indonesia. Vietnamese athletes arrive at the venue to compete in the 11th ASEAN Para Games. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Team Việt Nam is ready for the 11th ASEAN Para Games which will begin on Saturday in Surakarta, Indonesia.
A flag-raising ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Manahan Stadium with representatives from all 11 contingents.
“All Vietnamese athletes are in good condition and can’t wait to compete,” said Việt Nam’s Chief-de-Mission Nguyễn Hồng Minh.
“My athletes have faced a lot of difficulties in training in previous years, as the pandemic forced them to stay at home without suitable equipment while having almost no competition to review their results.
“But they still received support from family and the community to maintain their performance as much as possible. All were ready for the return of competition.”
Minh, who is the Việt Nam Sports Administration’s deputy director, said that the tournament athletes must not only show their talent but also inspire people with disabilities to be confident and shine.
Trần Đức Thọ, general secretary of the Việt Nam Paralympic Committee, hopes that his champions will defend their titles while the others, especially young talented athletes, would grab the highest results.
He added that the 11th Games is an important competition because of its key role in the training and competing schedule of athletes who have not competed for five years since the 2017 edition. The 10th Games in 2019 was cancelled while this Games, set for 2021, was delayed for a year.
The Games also herald the start of a run of competitions, with the next version in Cambodia next May, the Asian Para Games in China next September and then the Paris Paralympics.
Vietnamese athletes are well prepared for the Para Games, which was delayed for almost a year. Photo courtesy of Việt Nam Para Games Team
Multi-tournament champion Lê Văn Công will be Việt Nam’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony on Saturday.
The Paralympic champion will defend his title in the men’s U49kg category in powerlifting.
“It is my honour to carry the national flag one more time,” Công told Việt Nam News.
“It is my responsibility to win and bring home a gold,” said Công, who did so at the last four Games, as well as the Paralympics last July.
Công has dominated the ASEAN competition for more than a decade and is confident he will take top place.
“The silver medal at the World Para Powerlifting -- Asia Oceania Open Championship last month supports me. I am ready for the championship title,” said Công.
The 38-year-old has not recovered totally from his shoulder injury but it does not seem to affect his performance.
“I will face the same rivals as in previous Games. I think they are still the same while I am not as strong as in the past because of the injury. But I know I am at a higher ASEAN level,” said Công who has topped the world podium several times in his career.
Công will be the first Vietnamese powerlifter to compete on August 1.
Apart from Công, other medal candidates are Nguyễn Thị Hải in track-and-field, Nguyễn Thị Mỹ Linh in chess, and Võ Thanh Tùng in swimming among many others.
The regional Games will close on August 7. VNS