Eleven hearing-impaired Taiwanese athletes are competing this week at the World Deaf Athletics Championships in Toronto, Canada, dreaming of winning medals but also looking to gain international experience.
The squad’s head coach, Hsiung Pao-sung, said the team’s strongest events are expected to be the 3,000m steeplechase, the hammer throw, the javelin and the 4x100m relay. On Monday, the first day of competition, two Taiwanese runners made it through the first heats of the men’s 400m and 1,500m, while two others were knocked out in the 100m and 40m.
Chao Yu-ping, secretary-general of the Chinese Taipei Sports Association of the Deaf, said he hoped the team would perform well to bring glory to Taiwan, but also saw the competition as good preparation for the Deaflympics next year in Sofia, Bulgaria.
In the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei, local athletes won 11 gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze medals — including one silver and three bronze medals in athletics — to finish fifth on the medals table.