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Ceremonial send-off raises Para Games athletes' spirits

Update: January, 08/2008 - 00:00

Ceremonial send-off raises Para Games athletes’ spirits

(09-01-2008)

HA NOI — Viet Nam’s disabled athletes gathered at the National Sports Training Centre No 1 yesterday for a ceremonial send-off as they depart for Thailand for the fourth ASEAN Paralympic Games.

The ceremony is traditionally held to boost athletes’ morale and bolster their confidence and energy.

The nation’s athletes were urged by deputy minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Danh Thai to be friendly and actively integrate with international competitors.

"These Games are the area’s biggest sporting event for the disabled. They show a desire to overcome the difficulties of disabled athletes and a desire to overcome their own personal obstacles.

Vu The Phiet, head of the sports delegation for the disabled affirmed that team Viet Nam had prepared carefully for this event and would likely be in the top three with a gold medal tally of around 80.

Athlete Dang Anh Tuyet, a candidate for a gold medal in the women’s wrestling, said the athletes would try their best to achieve great things for the nation and would befriend foreign athletes as well.

Also at the send-off ceremony, many individuals and organisations showed athlete support by donating to the fund Igniting Faith in Victory.

To prepare for these Games, Vietnamese athletes trained at National Sports Training Centre No 1 with strict nutrition regulations.

The Viet Nam delegation is comprised of 169 members, 117 of whom are athletes. From January 20-25, the athletes will compete in eight out of 14 events: weightlifting, chess, badminton, table tennis, athletics, swimming, tennis and judo.

The Viet Nam delegation will fly to Thailand on January 17.

In the third ASEAN Para Games held in the Philippines, only 69 Vietnamese athletes participated in six events, but they left with 83 golds, 43 silvers and 28 bronze medals. — VNS

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