ASEAN Para Games
|Vietnamese athletes with disabilities pose for photos before leaving for Cambodia and the 12th ASEAN Para Games on May 31. VNA/VNS Photos|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese athletes left for Cambodia on May 31 to take part in the 12th ASEAN Para Games.
The 164-strong delegation were divided into two groups. One flew from Hà Nội to Phnom Penh while the other departed from HCM City.
Nguyễn Hồng Minh, deputy director of the Việt Nam Sports Administration, is the Chief-de-mission.
Athletes will compete in eight out of 13 sports available in Phnom Penh from June 3-9.
Việt Nam has set a target of up to 55 gold medals and to place in the top four overall. The strong points of the team are athletics, swimming, powerlifting and chess.
|Athletes on the way to the plane.|
"Para Games is a fierce competition which lures the strongest athletes with disabilities of the region," said Chief-de-mission Minh.
"However, it is also a stage for athletes to show their iron mind, bravery and extraordinary effort to overcome difficulties to integrate into normal life and contribute to national sports," he said.
Speaking before his flight, former Paralympic winner Lê Văn Công said: "ASEAN Para Games is really important to us. It is the tournament where we express our abilities and talents."
"On behalf of all Vietnamese athletes, I promise to compete with the highest determination and strong effort to bring home medals," said Cong, the world record holder in powerlifting.
"Through this regional sport meet, we will see our level and quality so that we can practise harder ahead of the Asian Para Games, world championships and the Paralympics," he said.
The 12th Games will see about 2,600 participants, including 1,400 athletes from all 11 member countries.
Thailand will send the largest team of 620 members. Indonesia will have 580 while the host will register 343. Timor Leste will join the meet with only 31 members.
At least 500 reporters and journalists will descend on Phnom Penh for the Games.
|Vietnam Airlines staff assists an athlete during their depart at the Hà Nội's Nội Bài International Airport for the regional sport meet in Phnom Penh.|
Host Cambodia will continue to provide free tickets to supporters to all competition venues; free meals, accommodation and transportation for delegations and free broadcasting rights to media.
At the last Games in Indonesia, Việt Nam secured 65 golds, 62 silvers and 55 bronzes to place third overall.
Host Indonesia were on top with 175 golds, followed by Thailand who won 117 golds. VNS