Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) President Dato’ Zainal Abu Zarin has described the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games as the ‘the best Games for athletes ever staged in Asia so far’.
Speaking in front of a packed crowd at the Closing Ceremony of the Games at the Aoti Main Stadium, the APC President was full of praise for everything that had been delivered over the last week of competition.
Dato’ Zainal Abu Zarin said: ”Thank you Guangzhou for staging the most amazing and spectacular Asian Para Games. The benchmark for future Para Games has been set in terms of participation, performance and venues, particularly the humanistic spirit.
“You promised a Games of equal splendor and I’m delighted to say you duly delivered.
“In quick evaluation meeting, the APC Board declared that the Guangzhou Asian Para Games are the best Games for athletes ever staged so far in Asia.”
More than 2,500 athletes from 41 countries and regions took part in the Games which saw athletes compete in 19 sports across Guangzhou. And the APC President was well aware about the role the local community and key stakeholders had played in delivering a hugely successful Games.
Dato’ Zainal Abu Zarin said: “Thank you, the people of Guangzhou, the volunteers, and most of all, GAPGOC, your hospitality to us all has been warm and infectious.
“Local and regional Government, you have made a huge contribution to the success of these Games. You have a city, a province and population to be proud of.”
During the Games a total of 1,020 medals were given out with China topping the medal table with a whopping 391 medals, including 185 gold. In total 18 World records were broken and multiple Asian records set. A number of athletes also recorded personal or season’s best performances, however according to the APC President regardless of the results, the athletes had inspired millions.
Dato’ Zainal Abu Zarin said: “Athletes you have touched the hearts of hundreds of thousands in Guangzhou, inspired millions with your performances in Asia and shown billions around the world the power of the Paralympic Movement.
“You came here as athletes representing countries and regions in Asia, you leave as winners and heroes. Above all you leave as role models after passing on the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality onto the youth generation of today who are the leaders of tomorrow.”
The Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games were the first time they had taken place in the same city as the Asian Games in the same year. They will next take place in Incheon, Korea in 2014 and the APC President is determined to make the arrangement permanent.
Dato’ Zainal Abu Zarin said: “Our goal is to ensure that these Games run back-to-back with the Asian Games not just here in Guangzhou but in cities across Asia for years to come.
“Equality must prevail over politics and we will leave no stone unturned in trying to ensure our athletes continue to perform on a stage that is fitting for their inspiring efforts and performances.”