The Paralympics takes over the Japan capital to welcome the world’s best differently abled athletes, who will battle it out from August 24 to September 5.
Here are some interesting numbers to remember about Tokyo’s hosting of the quadrennial meet, as well as the Philippines’ campaign.
The Philippines is sending a delegation of six para athletes composed of para swimmers Ernie Gawilan and Gary Bejino, wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan, discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda, powerlifter Achelle Guion, and para taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin.
Just like how the Olympic team was in search for its first gold medal before weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz made history, the Philippine Paralympic team is still in search for its first gold and silver medals.
The Philippines will be vying for gold medals in 13 out of the 539 events and aims to surpass the one-bronze haul of para table tennis player Josephine Medina from the 2016 Rio Games.
Five million pesos is the largest amount a Filipino Paralympian can receive from the government for winning a gold medal based on Republic Act 10699.
A silver medal will merit P2.5 million, while a bronze is worth P1 million according to the law that took effect on November 13, 2015.
Tycoon Manny Pangilian brought the value of a Paralympic gold to P10 million with an additional P5 million bonus, while also chipping in P2.5 million for a silver and P500,000 for a bronze.
After being recognized as national athletes via the PSC Incentives Act, the Filipino para athletes continue their fight for inclusion, which includes matching the incentives given to Olympic medalists of P10 million, P5 million and P2 million for gold, silver and bronze, respectively.
The Philippine Paralympic Committee, the national body of para sports in the country, actively lobbies for parity in the rights of para athletes.
Tokyo will be expecting 4,521 para athletes to arrive, which will include star-studded names from the Paralympic scene.
Para swimming is expected to take the spotlight in the Games as three-time Paralympic swimmer Daniel Dias of Brazil, who is also the most decorated male para swimmer with 24 medals, announced that the Tokyo Games will be his swan song.
Team USA hopes to continue dominating the sport with McKenzie Coan looking to add to her three-gold medal haul in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, and Jessica Long competing in her fifth Paralympics with 23 medals under her belt.
The Games will also be another chance to see if dynasties will continue or new blood come along as Germany’s Markus Rehm is aiming for a three-peat title in the F44 long jump event.
Leading the host country’s Paralympic team is wheelchair racer Tomoki Sato, who bagged two silvers in the Rio Games, where Japan did not bring home a gold medal from the quadrennial meet for the first time in history.
The Tokyo Games are also pushing towards gender equality in the biggest stage of sports as the number of female athletes increased from 1,671 in the 2016 Rio Paralympics to 1,782 athletes this year.
Six para athletes are also confirmed to be part of the Tokyo refugee Paralympic team, which is composed of persons with disabilities who have been forced to flee due to war, persecution, and human rights abuses.
Japan will host a total of 22 sports in the Tokyo Paralympics.
Badminton and taekwondo will debut in the Tokyo Games, which allowed Filipino Ganapin to become the first taekwondo jin to qualify for the Paralympics.
Being a relatively new discipline, only the kyorugi (sparring) events of taekwondo will be played in the Paralympics. There will be three weight classes each for the male and female divisions.
In badminton, 90 players will compete across 14 events – seven men’s, six women’s, and one mixed – will be staged in the Tokyo Games. – Rappler.com