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Chinese Taipei athletes ready for Paralympics
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The Chinese Taipei delegation attending the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games gathered on Monday.

The group, comprising 17 athletes, 10 males and seven females, will take part in six events, including track and field, swimming, weightlifting, archery, shooting and table tennis, a delegation source said. The oldest is 53 years and the youngest 27.

The athletes will travel to Beijing on Tuesday.

Weightlifting, shooting and table tennis are the group's strengths as among the athletes are several medalists from the Athens 2004 Paralympics: Lin Tzu-hui, a gold medalist in the women's 75 kg class weightlifting and Lin Chin-mei,silver medal winner in the women's 10 meter air pistol.

Table tennis hopes include Wei Mei-hui, a silver medalist in Greece in the women's team class 5 and bronze in the single's class 5, and Hu Ming-fu, a bronze medallist in the men's table tennis teams class 9.

"I hope to move a step forward in the Beijing Paralympics," said 32-year-old weightlifter Lin Ya-Hsuan who was attending her third Paralympics. She was eighth in Sydney and seventh in Athens in the 56 kg class.

The only swimmer in the delegation, Luo Hsiao-hong, is 41 year old and a Paralympics debutant. The former water polo player was injured in a serious traffic accident six years ago. She started training as a disabled swimmer about four years ago.

"It was a tough task to start again in the sporting field. I had to adjust myself physically and mentally," she said. "The first time I was in the pool, I could not help crying."

Her performance gradually improved over the past four years. She won a gold medal in the S6 100 meters freestyle at the FESPIC Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2006.

"I won't press myself too much in Beijing. I hope I can enter the final."

Chinese Taipei has attended the Paralympics since 1992, winning four gold medals, four silver and nine bronze.

(Xinhua News Agency September 2, 2008)

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