- Nov 29 2017
- By Sport News Ho Chi Minh City (newspaper)
Following their historic gold medal at the Rio Paralympic Games of 2016, and achievements at the ASEAN Para Games of 2017, Vietnam’s powerlifting team is ready to continue its quest to set new records at the World Para Powerlifting Championship in Mexico this December. The Championships will be part of the Mexico City 2017 Para Sport Festival taking place that month. To motivate the athletes on their competition, the Parasport Foundation has offered a reward for each medal won at the games. Parasport was founded by Oleg Boyko, a businessman and entrepreneur.
Nguyen Hong Phuc, the coach of the Vietnam Power Lifting Para Team, views the championships as preparation for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and has said that his students worked hard to get themselves in the best physical condition for Mexico. "Since the Para Games in Malaysia, our athletes have been focusing on the World Championships in Mexico,” he said. “Training has gone smoothly, and the progress of the athletes is currently at an ideal point. They have all prepared rigorously for the competition, and I can now say that they are ready for the World Para Powerlifting Championship." Mr Phuc added that Le Van Cong, Nguyen Binh An, Dang Thi Linh Phuong and Chau Hoang Tuyet Loan are likely to be the team’s best hopes for medals.
However, training was not without obstacles. The short turnaround between the ASEAN Para Games and the World Para Powerlifting Championship meant skipping the normal recovery phase and diving straight into intensive training again. "Skipping the recovery process can cause harm to athletes during practice, which has been the main worry for the management board and me,” said Coach Phuc. “Moreover, the tight schedule between the ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur and the World Championships in Mexico led to a great many difficulties in terms of optimizing the schedule of each athlete so they peaked at the right time.”
The short turnaround period has also affected the rankings of the six athletes Vietnam is sending to the games. For instance, Le Van Cong, Vietnamese gold medalist in Rio, is ranked third in the 49kg weight category. Mr Phuc explains: “This is going to be tough for Le Van Cong, because all his opponents have been able to concentrate on this level to practice throughout of the year. That's the reason why we only expect Cong to be in top 3.”
However, the team is still confident and hopeful. Mr Phuc completed his statement by saying: "The World Para Powerlifting Championship of 2017 in Mexico brings together all the best coaches and athletes in the world. This is the great chance to enhance our competitive skills, and gives our athletes a chance to perform in the heat of competition.”
Coach Phuc and four athletes will fly from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi on 30 November to pick up the two remaining athletes on the team, Nguyen Thanh Xuan and Nguyen Van Phuc. After that, the whole team will officially fly to Mexico for the latest chapter of their story.
The Parasport Foundation has accompanied and supported the Vietnam team at various international games and championships in recent years, as well as in their training. The foundation’s tireless efforts and energy has been crucial to the success of Vietnam’s parathletes in recent years.