ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s paralympians won one gold, four silver and four bronze medals over two days at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games.
On Oct. 20, Anuar Akhmetov of Astana set an Asian Para Games record in the 100 metre backstroke for athletes with visual impairments, with a time of 1:10.66. He also won the silver medal in the 100m freestyle event on the same day, while his teammate Mansurbek Ibrashev of Shymkent took the bronze.
“It was tough struggle for victory. My competitor was from Japan, he was really strong, but I didn’t want to give him my gold medal,” Akhmetov told The Astana Times. “I would like to underline that all the athletes are strong and are demonstrating their best techniques, which takes these competitions to a new level.”
Akhmetov is one of the leading athletes of these Para Games. On Oct. 19, he won two silver medals in the 400m and 50m freestyle events.
On the same day, Dmitry Lee won bronze medals in the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly for athletes with physical impairments.
Wheelchair dance sport competitions kicked off on Oct. 20 and the first day brought Kazakhstan a silver medal. South Korean pair Jaewoo Lee and Hye-Jong Yang, currently second in the world in the combi standard class one, took the crown once again with high marks in all their dances. Kazakhstan’s Ardak Otarbayev and Aidana Beglenova took silver, while Hong Kong’s Wah Keung Ma and Hei Man Ho came in third.
Kazakhstan’s volleyball team has a good chance for a medal, as they won their first game against Japan. The volleyball competition will run through the end of the week.
The Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games kicked off with a colourful opening ceremony launched by the Prime Minister of South Korea Chung Hung Won at Munhak Stadium on Oct. 18.
In an opening speech, President of the Asian Paralympic Committee Dato Zainal Abu Zarin paid tribute to the Korean government, authority and citizens of Incheon for their unwavering commitment in organising the Games, which were launched about two weeks after the end of the Asian Games.
“Here in Incheon, we will witness the magic of para sporting action. To be able to be here, to be among Asia’s best, is a feat in itself. To everyone who has made it to Incheon, congratulations,” said Dato Zainal in his speech.
Kazakhstan is represented by 84 athletes in nine sports: archery, athletics, judo, powerlifting, shooting, swimming, table tennis, sitting volleyball and wheelchair dance.
The 2014 Asian Para Games opened on Oct. 18 and will run through Oct. 24. Athletes from 41 countries will compete in 23 sports.