Paralympic delegates fly high in Athens
Updated: 2004-09-11 01:01

A 200-strong Chinese delegation left Beijing for the Athens Paralympic Games on Friday.

A 286-member Chinese delegation is ready to board a chartered plane in Beijing on Friday for the Athens Paralympic Games. China is sending its largest-ever Paralympic delegation to the Athens Games, which runs between September 17-28. [newsphoto]
The 200 athletes, including 90 female competitors, formed the largest-ever Chinese Paralympic delegation since China's Paralympic debut in Los Angeles in 1984.

The Chinese athletes are to compete in 284 disciplines of 11 out of 19 sports listed on the games programme in Athens, including athletics, swimming, table tennis, shooting, powerlifting, judo, cycling, archery, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair tennis and sitting volleyball.

China fielded 87 athletes in Sydney four years ago, winning 34 golds to rank six on the final medal table.

In Athens, the Chinese delegation is aiming to surpass the Sydney Games both in terms of gold medals and the overall medal tally ranking.

Meanwhile, the Chinese athletes with an average age of 26, one year younger than that of the Chinese athletes at the Sydney games, are expected to gain more experience for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

Zhang Xiaoling, a table tennis player, said at Capital International Airport that she hopes to continue her gold medal rush following her debut at the Seoul Games in 1988.

Forty-seven-year old marksman Huang Wei said that his main aim at the Games was to exceed himself.

More than 4,000 athletes from more than 140 countries and regions will take part in the 12th Paralympic Games in Athens.

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