Para sports: Three new sports for Singapore at Asian Para Games

A member of Afghanistan's men's wheelchair basketball team (in red) playing against Thailand during the qualifying tournament for the Asian Para Games in Bangkok on March 4, 2018.
A member of Afghanistan's men's wheelchair basketball team (in red) playing against Thailand during the qualifying tournament for the Asian Para Games in Bangkok on March 4, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

Singapore will field athletes in archery, powerlifting and track cycling for the first time at the Asian Para Games this year.

They will be part of the 42-strong contingent that will compete across 10 sports announced by the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC) yesterday.

The team bound for the Oct 6-13 Games in Jakarta will comprise 26 debutants and reflects the SNPC's efforts to broaden the base of local athletes in preparation of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Powerlifter Kalai Vanen said: "My main goal is to compete at the Paralympics so I'm hoping to improve on my personal best lift (156kg) at the Asian Games and gain more competition experience."

Kevin Wong, chairman of the SNPC and president of the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC), said: "As part of our Tokyo 2020 preparations, we have identified a number of sports that have the potential to qualify and will be working closely with the various sports officials to make sure that our athletes have the best chance and opportunities to succeed.

"A key aspect will be securing corporate sponsorship and we will be reaching out to companies keen to partner with us and journey with our athletes as they seek to qualify and compete at the Games."

The contingent will be led by Ali Daud, a board member of the SDSC.

He said: "I am confident that we will make Singapore proud. Don't stop, push harder, keep going and together we will succeed. These words never fail to inspire me, and I am sure, they will inspire you too."

At the last Asian Games in Incheon, the Republic won its first gold medal of the quadrennial competition through sailors Jovin Tan Wei Qiang and Yap Qian Yi in the Hansa 303 double-handed event.

Singapore's total haul was one gold, one silver and four bronze medals from South Korea.

Natalie Choy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2018, with the headline '3 new sports for S'pore at Asian Para Games'. Print Edition | Subscribe