ASEAN Para Games
|A stunning firework display to mark the close of the 2022 ASEAN Para Games in Surakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday. Photo courtesy of the Singapore National Paralympics Council|
HÀ NỘI — The 11th ASEAN Para Games officially drew to a close on Saturday after a week of breathtaking action in Surakarta, Indonesia, that saw Việt Nam finish with their best result since the 2003 Games.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) declared the closing of the Games and made a speech at the multi-sport Manahan Stadium after the parade of the 11 contingents representing Southeast Asian countries.
Throughout the two-hour ceremony, almost 10,000 spectators in the arena were entertained by cultural and musical performances highlighting the host's rich and diverse traditions by famous artists.
During his speech, Jokowi thanked more than 1,200 participating athletes, saying Indonesia was proud to have hosted the eight-day sporting extravaganza for persons with disabilities.
“Indonesia is very proud to be the host of the 2022 ASEAN Para Games. Thank you for delivering the message that limitations and difficulties are not obstacles. With commitment and hard work, people with disabilities can score a million achievements,” he said.
"The solidarity shown by the para-athletes across Southeast Asia showcases the strength of ASEAN. We continuously support the initiatives of people with disabilities. Let's make ASEAN Para Games next year in Cambodia a success."
The ASEAN Para Sports Federation flag was handed to Cambodia, the host of next year’s edition.
The kingdom also staged another stunning traditional performance to welcome the June 3-9 Games in Phnom Penh.
The participants at the Manahan Stadium also enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display, which lit up the sky after the Games' cauldron was extinguished.
Việt Nam, with 123 athletes, ended their performance with a haul of 65 golds, 62 silvers and 56 bronzes to finish third in the medal tally. Athletes set 16 new Games records in swimming and powerlifting.
|Vietnamese para athletes take centre stage once, more proud of their achievements in Surakarta. Photo courtesy of the Việt Nam Para Games Team|
Hosts Indonesia, as expected, topped the standing with 177 golds. It was the third time that they were No 1 in the region, following the 2014 and 2017 editions in Myanmar and Malaysia, respectively.
Thailand grabbed 113 titles to finish in second place.
The Vietnamese team landed in Hà Nội yesterday to a warm welcome from local supporters and officials, ending a successful Games.
Việt Nam's chief-de-mission Nguyễn Hồng Minh praised the result of the Vietnamese team, who overcome challenges to get a good result.
"It is the best ever achievement of Việt Nam's para-sport at the regional sports meet since 2003 Games in Hà Nội. Our athletes showed outstanding performances in swimming, chess and powerlifting with remarkable records," Minh said.
"The success also showed athletes' great determination, power and potential. Việt Nam needs to have a suitable plan and support to prepare for the 12th Games in the year to come," he added. VNS