The Games were officially opened by Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, paving the way for an exciting seven days of action until the closing ceremony on August 6.

The cauldron was lit by Paralympic shooter Hanik Puji Hastuti after Indonesian ASEAN Para Games Organizing Committee head Gibran Rakabuming Raka delivered his opening address.

Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the 11th ASEAN Para Games at Manahan Stadium in Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia on July 30

The hosts welcomed almost 1,200 athletes to the 11th APG along with some 15,000 spectators at the 20,000-capacity multi-purpose Manahan Stadium who were treated to amazing live performances by famous comedian Dodit Mulyanto and Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo.

They also enjoyed a magnificent fireworks display and the finale was a highly-entertaining performance by popular singer Nella Kharisma.

The Vietnamese athletes came to the regional biennial sport meet with 153 members including 120 athletes.

They set a target of 40 gold medals, as many as five years ago in the ninth edition in Malaysia. It is expected that the result will help them finish in the top group.

Indonesia organizes 14 sports in the 11th APG and Vietnam will take part in eight.

The first athletes to start their journey are badminton players in team events and masters in standard chess.

The 2019 edition in the Philippines was initially postponed for financial reasons before being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnam also cited the pandemic in cancelling the Games last year. Indonesia stepped in to host the event for the second time after the 2011 edition, which was also held in Surakarta.

Source: VNA