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China's team for Paralympic Games could be the largest

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(BEIJING, June 1) -- China is expected to send a 350-400-strong delegation to the 2008 Paralympic Games, probably the largest among the participating teams.

"It will be a great source of pride to be among our magnificent athletes, who are going to be selected from as many as 80 million disabled people across China. We want to field as many of them as possible," said Jia Yong, director of the Sports Department of China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF).

China holds the national games for the disabled every four years and the local games are held ahead of these to produce high-level athletes, Jia told the press in an interview recently.

Since the establishment of the China Disabled Peoples' Sports association in 1983, the country has attended six Paralympic Games, and the athletes' performance has improved gradually from the 12th place in the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics to the first in the Athens Games in terms of the number of medals.

"For the moment, our goal is to take part in all sports and obtain good results in key sports," said Jia. Among the 20 Paralympic sports, China has performed strongly in athletics, swimming, table tennis and weightlifting.

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