More than 500 disabled athletes from 16 countries will converge on Hong Kong over Christmas in the first step on the road to the Paralympic Games 2008 in Beijing. The inaugural Far East and South Pacific Youth Games (FESPIC) will test the physically and intellectually disabled in two age groups - from 12 to 15 and 16 to 19. Physically disabled athletes will go for gold in badminton, boccia, athletics, swimming and table tennis, while the intellectually disabled will compete in the latter three events. 'This is about the right time to prepare for the Paralympic Games 2008 in Beijing for Asian participants,' said York Chow, chairman of the organising committee. Johnny Wu, assistant director of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, a co-organiser with the Hong Kong Sports Association for the Physically Disabled, said the games, to be held every four years, 'would help the development of local sports'. The games will be held over three days from December 24 to 26.