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ASEAN Para Games 2014 opens in Naypyidaw

The opening ceremony for the 7th ASEAN Para Games – hosted in Burma for the first time ever – was held at Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Naypyidaw on Tuesday evening.

The regional sporting event, for athletes with disabilities, is being held to promote friendship, equality and unity among the participating ASEAN countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to state media, 20,000 people attended the ceremony, which featured traditional Burmese music, dancing, a torchlight performance and fireworks.

A total of 1482 athletes with disabilities will fight for 339 gold medals, in competitions such as archery, athletics, boccia, blind chess, football, goal ball, power lifting, swimming, table tennis, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

The games will go on until 20 January.