Women disabled athletes actively prepare for international events

Hanoi's disabled athletes join in a skills training session at Hang Day Stadium every morning before taking on a two-hour fitness exercise at Khuc Hao sports centre.

 These dedicated athletes, totaling more than 60 in number, are preparing for both the National Sports Meet for disabled athletes in HCM City in September and the Far Eastern Sports Pacific Asia (FESPIC) in Malaysia this December.

According to coach Ngo Anh Tuan, Hanoian athletes are powerful, especially in wheelchair racing. "Hanoi is the first place in Vietnam to train disabled athletes in wheelchair racing," said Tuan.

Swimmer Tran Nguyen Thai - who holds the 50m women's breaststroke world record time of 52.77 - has spent the last two years training o­n the track. She is a hopeful for the gold medal for Hanoi and the national team in short distance running.

Weight lifter Nguyen Huong Giang, who took the bronze medal in the women's 40kg category at the Asian tournament in Malaysia early this year, has been training for the wheel-chair event for the past two months.

"I chose the event because the wheelchair team lack athletes and I enjoy taking o­n new challenges after my success in weightlifting. I think my two-year training period in weightlifting has improved my power, which could help me reach the top in the wheelchair event" Giang said.

The team coaching board has trained several youngsters to take the place of the retired athletes. Giang is replacing Athens Paralympic Games participant Nhu Thi Khoa, who left the sport to be with her family, competing in the women's 100m, 200m, 400m T54 (for double upper leg amputees) class wheelchair.

Last month, the team recruited wheelchair racer Nguyen Thi Xuan Anh, who left the team in 2001 after winning two championships in the New York Marathon in 1999 and 2001. The 34-year-old woman said she will try her best to get back o­n track after her long hiatus.

According to VSAD general secretary and vice chairman Vu The Phiet, the National Sports and Physical Training and VSAD will send more athletes to compete in the coming World and Asia tournaments, improving their skill and experience.

Viet Nam News