Disabled Paralympic athletes to train overseas
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They trained on aging equipment and in intemperate weather, but the 11 athletes with disabilities aren’t complaining as they take off to Ireland July 20 to prepare for the 2012 Paralympics.
Track-and-field athlete Trinh Cong Luan (R) attends a training session in Phu Tho Stadium on July 3, 2012 Photo: Tuoi Tre
Held in conjunction with the Olympics, the summer games will give the young Vietnamese a chance to compete in track and field, swimming, and weightlifting.
“Despite the number of obstacles ahead, we are still very upbeat and confident to head to the Paralympics,” said Cao Ngoc Hung. The track and field athlete added, “Of course it’s important to win trophies, but being there is already a success to us.”
The athletes are taking an English class sponsored by the British Council to prepare for Ireland, where they’ll train for three weeks, and for London, where they’ll compete Aug. 29 to Sept. 9.
The General Department of Sports and Physical Training has increased their daily wage to VND450,000.
At Tan Binh Sport Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Quoc Cuong has been coaching four disabled swimmers: Vo Thanh Tung, Nguyen Thanh Trung, Du Thi Lan, and Trinh Thi Bich Nhu.
“I always tell myself to overcome all challenges, and attending the Paralympics just proves it,” said Tung, who is most likely to medal, according to his coach.
Training twice daily at the same venue are weightlifters Nguyen Thi Hong, Chau Hoang Tuyet Loan, Nguyen Binh An, and Nguyen Van Phuc.
For track and field, Hung has been practicing with Trinh Cong Luan and Nguyen Thi Hai at Phu Tho Stadium for more than a year.