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Several members of the Philippine delegation, including an athlete, for the Tokyo Paralympics will miss the quadrennial showpiece after testing positive for the coronavirus.
The Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) announced the news on Sunday, August 22, as the initial six-man para athlete lineup for Tokyo has been slashed to five.
“It is unfortunate for us to inform the public that some officials, coaches, and a para athlete of our Philippine delegation bound for Tokyo to participate in the 2020 Paralympic Games have tested positive for COVID-19,” said PPC president Michael Barredo in a statement.
Barredo did not divulge additional information on the virus-hit team members. (READ: Tokyo Paralympics: Meet Team Philippines)
Six Filipinos qualified for Tokyo, namely, Ernie Gawilan and Gary Bejino (para swimming), Jerrold Mangliwan and Jeanette Aceveda (para athletics), Allain Ganapin (para taekwondo), and Achelle Guion (para powerlifting).
The Philippines is seeking to eclipse its one bronze-medal finish in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.
Still, Barredo remained upbeat about the Filipinos’ chances. (SCHEDULE: Philippine team at Tokyo Paralympics)
“Despite this setback, we are confident that our athletes will give their best in the pursuit of their Paralympic dreams and to bring honor and glory to our country,” Barredo said of the delegation set to leave for Tokyo on Sunday.
The Tokyo Paralympics, where over 4,500 para athletes will gather, will run from August 24 to September 5. – Rappler.com