Vietnam looks towards 2016 Rio Paralympics

Tuesday, 2015-10-06 17:18:42
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Deputy Director of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, Pham Van Tuan
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NDO – Deputy Director of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, Pham Van Tuan, who is also President of the Vietnam Paralympic Association (VPA), attended the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Chef de Mission seminar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from September 14 to 18.

In a recent interview with the department’s website,, Tuan elaborated on the host country’s arrangements for the 2016 Paralympics as well as Vietnam’s preparations for the world’s largest sporting platform for athletes with disabilities.

Q: What was the focus of the Chef de Mission seminar?

A: During a plenary session on September 16 and 17, representatives from functional sub-committees of the organising board elaborated on Brazil’s preparations and progress on work for next year’s Paralympic Games, while answering participants’ queries on the issues of accommodation, transport, travelling, the athletes’ village, Games participation cards, departure and arrival of sports delegations, registration procedures for competition, press, health services, logistics, doping, sponsorship, finance, opening and closing ceremonies, and security.

Q: What were the major activities of the Vietnamese delegation to the Chef de Mission meeting?

A: The five-day event featured the attendance of some 196 deputies from 91 countries and territories around the world. During their stay in Rio de Janeiro, Vietnam’s delegation joined the plenary session, visited competition venues of the events which are scheduled to see Vietnam’s participation, and attended joint activities and private meetings with representatives of the organising committee’s division responsible for the Vietnamese delegation.

Private working sessions focused on the issues of anticipated components of the Vietnam Paralympic delegation, which include the head of delegation, athletes, coaches, and officials, the number of volunteers supporting the delegation, entrance cards at the Games’ competition venues and some other related issues.

Vietnam’s team also visited the scheduled venues for the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies as well as the Athletes’ Village. Accordingly, the opening and closing ceremonies will take place at Maracana Stadium, while the Athletes’ Village, located in western Rio de Janeiro, is 32km away from Tom Jobim International Airport, consisting of 21 buildings at 17 storeys each, which will accommodate about 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials.

Q: In addition to the abovementioned activities, what else did the Vietnamese delegation participate in on the sidelines of the conference?

A: Under the framework of the working visit, Vietnam’s team also held talks with other delegations from Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Russia and the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC).

Vietnam and the RoK discussed measures to enhance and expand comprehensive and long-standing co-operative relationships between the two countries’ Paralympic Committees, including exchanging delegations of athletes for training in each other’s country, and inviting the RoK’s qualified experts to train Vietnam’s national teams in the events of the RoK’s strengths, such as shooting and taekwondo.

Vietnam also wished to promote the traditional relations with Japan, while consolidating the sound relationship with Russia and taking advantage of Russia’s support in receiving Vietnamese athletes to train and compete in international tournaments held in the country in the years ahead.

Q: How has Vietnam been preparing for the 2016 Rio Paralympics so far?

A: Vietnam is scheduled to send athletes to compete in three events – athletics, powerlifting and swimming – at next year’s Paralympic Games. As soon as the 2014 Asian Para Games concluded in Incheon, RoK, the General Department of Sports and Physical Training summoned 12 athletes of these three sports for training at the National Sports Training Centre in Ho Chi Minh City starting February 1, 2015, in preparation for the Paralympic mission.

During their training, Vietnamese swimmers competed in the World Championships in Glasgow, the UK, while powerlifters participated in the Asian Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, both held in July. The athletics team will have the chance to challenge themselves in the World Championships, to be held in Doha, Qatar this month.

Q: How do you evaluate Vietnamese athletes’ possibilities of securing tickets to the 2016 Paralympics?

A: The 12 athletes summoned for training are all outstanding representatives of the athletics, swimming and powerlifting events, including Trinh Thi Bich Nhu, Vo Thanh Tung, Nguyen Thanh Trung and Do Thanh Hai (swimming); Le Van Cong, Nguyen Binh An, Dang Thi Linh Phuong and Chau Hoang Tuyet Loan (powerlifting); Cao Ngoc Hung, Nguyen Be Hau, Nguyen Ngoc Hiep and Nguyen Thi Nhan (athletics).

With a silver medal won in the SB5 100m breaststroke category at the World Championships in Glasgow, Trinh Thi Bich Nhu has already secured a place in the 2016 Rio Olympics, meeting the standard of winning a gold or a silver medal at a world championship. Nhu’s male teammate Vo Thanh Tung also took bronze in the S5 50m freestyle at the same tournament, while powerlifters Le Van Cong and Nguyen Binh An won two gold medals in the men’s 49kg and 54kg classes at the Asian Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. However, Tung, Cong and An still need to prove themselves at the 2016 European Open Swimming Championships in Portugal and the 2016 IPF Open Powerlifting World Championships in Malaysia to confirm their places at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Q: The 8th ASEAN Para Games, to be held in Singapore later this year, is considered of great importance to Vietnam’s preparations for the 2016 Rio Paralympics. What do you think about this statement?

A: The 2015 ASEAN Para Games in Singapore will offer an ideal platform for our athletes to accumulate experience and sharpen their skills. In addition, their performance at the Games will be taken into account by the International Paralympic Committee for Paralympic berths.

Thank you for the interview. May Vietnam’s para-sports delegation achieve the best results at both the 2015 ASEAN Para Games and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

The 2016 Paralympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from September from 7 to 18. Some 528 sets of medals will be up for grabs in 22 sports. Competition will take place at 21 venues in four areas of Rio - Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracana.