SINGAPORE: Team Singapore's contingent of para-athletes departed for the ninth ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (Sep 13) afternoon.
A total of 90 athletes - the country's largest away contingent for the tournament - will be representing Singapore.
Team Singapore's second largest away contingent was in the 2008 edition of the Games when 57 athletes were fielded in Thailand.
"We went through a very rigorous process which was very transparent and open, and we've selected the best of the best that Singapore has," said Kevin Gerard Wong, chairman of the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC) .
Mr Wong added that the council was "very excited" for the contingent's campaign in Kuala Lumpur and that his main hope was that the athletes "enjoy themselves" at the Games.
Ahead of their departure at Changi Airport, Team Singapore's athletes, officials, family members, friends and fans mingled freely.
The mood was light and cheery, but there was also a tinge of nervous energy.
Tenpin bowler Thomas Yong told Channel Newsasia that he was "quietly confident" about the Games.
"Normally I'm quite a calm guy. So I hope that when I'm in KL, I'll do whatever I need to do ... I don't think too far ahead (and) that I must die-die be on the podium," he said with a laugh. "Whatever I can do, I will do my best."
Team Singapore will compete in 11 out of 16 sports at the competition, including in badminton, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis and tenpin bowling.
The 2017 ASEAN Para games will be held from Sep 17 to Sep 23. In Team Singapore's last away outing of the Games in 2014, the contingent won seven golds, 10 silvers and nine bronzes in Myanmar.