(VOV) - Paragliding has been officially recognized in Vietnam as the country selects its national paragliding team for the 26th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) scheduled for November in Indonesia.
Vietnam’s team, which includes seven male athletes and three female athletes, has set the target of winning 2-3 medals out of the total 12 sets of medals.
Meanwhile, strong Indonesian rivals are expected to win 15-20 medals for various events; Malaysia and Thailand are likely to secure 10-15 medals.
Vietnamese paragliders have participated in pre-SEA Games trial flights and will get five-day training in Puncak, Indonesia, in order to get used to the local terrain and climate.
Athlete Nguyen Quang Chuan told VOV that he and his teammates had gathered useful experience from the pre-SEA Games flights.
Another thrill-seeker, Luu Hoang Minh Son, said he engaged in paragliding out of passion, and was determined to gain medals for his country.
However, the team is financially supported by sponsorships and the individual athletes themselves.
“Paragliding is quite new in Vietnam and it’s nearly impossible to seek sponsorship,” said paraglider Bui Thai Giang. “We have to buy air tickets…We also have to pay for accommodation. The equipment we use is our own.”