All ready for action
Para-athletes ready to get down to serious business of winning medals
They were among the 6,000-strong crowd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last night, the stars of the opening ceremony of the 8th Asean Para Games, feted by the VVIPs and charged to inspire a whole region with their exploits over the next six days.
When the flame was lit, the athletes from 10 nations who will do battle in the 15 sports staged at these Games knew they were about to begin the serious business.
Thai shooter Woraprat Sirisak, who will be making his debut at the Games here, is clear about his target, as he dreams of his ultimate aim - representing his country at the Paralympics.
"This opening ceremony is amazing and gives me inspiration," the 24-year-old told The New Paper last night.
"I want to win gold and hope to do it here."
This will be the second Games for Myanmar's Aw May San and she is determined to make waves in the swimming pool.
The 19-year-old made her debut on home soil two years ago and said: "I am excited for the Asean Para Games. I have been training hard and I'm prepared.
"I aim to break my personal bests and if that means I win a medal, then so much better."
Malaysian table tennis player Farahidatul Akmal Ilias is another athlete competing for the second time at the Para Games.
Farahidatul is only 16, and the table tennis player pulled no punches when she talked about her target here.
"I aim to win a gold medal," she said.
"I know there are many strong teams and table tennis players, but I feel happy, excited and nervous, and ready to go."
Singapore athletes are counting on home support to fire them up.
Long jump hopeful Muhammad Azmi Mohamad Amir has noticed how the excitement has grown in the build-up to the Games and he felt the excitement at the opening ceremony last night.
"I feel the excitement among Singaporeans and all the fans are supportive. It gives me a lot of motivation to see so many Singaporeans coming down," the 20-year-old said.
"Of course I'm ready to do my country proud."
Danial Rusydi Rahman started in the shot put only a year ago, but he believes a medal is a possibility.
"I'm nervous, but I'm also motivated," the 18-year-old said.
"I want to show people that I can do it."