The Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) announced on Tuesday, August 24, that powerlifter Achelle Guion tested positive for COVID-19 before flying to Tokyo for the World Para Games.
According to a statement by PPC, Guion and her coach, Antonio “Tony” Taguibao, turned up with positive results for the virus, but both remain asymptomatic and in good health.
“Jinky is deeply frustrated that she will not be able to compete in her powerlifting event for her country after training for so long,” wrote PPC president Michael Barredo in the statement.
Barredo also said that Guion was also inspired by the country’s first Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz.
The PPC president will take up the chef de mission duties as Francis Diaz also tested positive for COVID-19.
2016 Rio Paralympian and opening ceremonies flag bearer Jerrold Mangliwan will be missing the presence of his coach Joel Deriada as he is the fourth person in the 21-person delegation to turn up COVID-19 positive as well.
“Despite this most unfortunate development, all our para-athletes remain in high spirits and committed to give their best possible performances to bring honor and glory for the country,” added Barredo.
The five Filipino para athletes who will see action in the quadrennial meet are Mangliwan, Ernie Gawilan, Gary Bejino, Jeanette Aceveda and Allain Ganapin.
The Tokyo Paralympics will be staged from August 24 to September 5 and the opening ceremonies will be held on Tuesday, 7pm, Philippine time. – Rappler.com