Allain Ganapin ruled out of Tokyo Paralympics, COVID-hit PH team cut to half

Beatrice Go
Allain Ganapin ruled out of Tokyo Paralympics, COVID-hit PH team cut to half

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Allain Ganapin misses the chance to become the first Filipino taekwondo jin to see action in the Paralympics

Para taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin will not compete in the men’s K44 under-75kg event on Friday, September 3, after testing positive for COVID-19, the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) announced.

The taekwondo jin was not permitted to leave the country, cutting the Philippines’ six-man team to just half as two other Filipino athletes also tested positive for COVID-19 the past weeks.

“Allain is upset in missing this opportunity, but prays that this challenge will strengthen his resolve in later competitions,” wrote PPC president Michael Barredo in a statement on Thursday, September 2.

“The present pandemic has created so many obstacles for our para athletes.  The virus has been unforgiving and denied the chance to bring glory and honor to the Philippines.”

The taekwondo jin is the third Filipino out the six delegates to be ruled out of the quadrennial meet after discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda and powerlifter Achelle Guion also tested positive.

The country is now pinning its hopes on swimmer Gary Bejino and wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan, who will wrap up the Philippines’ campaign on Friday.

Para swimmer Ernie Gawilan, who already ended his campaign, will carry the flag in the closing ceremonies.

Ganapin was slated to compete in the sport that is making its debut in the Paralympics.

The taekwondo jin from Marikina was born with an amputated right arm due to complications with the umbilical cord during his birth. 

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Ganapin, who has been with the Philippine team since 2016, qualified for the World Para Games via a bi-partite invitation by the World Taekwondo Federation.

In his five years with the national team, Ganapin won a bronze medal in the 2017 Oceania Para Taekwondo Open in Auckland, New Zealand, and went home with a bronze in the 2021 Asian Olympic qualifiers in Amman, Jordan last May.

The youngest in the delegation at 23 years old, Ganapin had hoped to use his Paralympics experience to inspire the differently abled who are victims of bullying like him when he was younger. –