MANILA, Philippines – Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta and table tennis player Josephine Medina banner the Philippine Paralympic Committee's campaign as the country shoots for its first gold medal in the 2018 Asian Para Games this October in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Team Philippines chef de mission Kiko Diaz bared that salvaging a gold and eclipsing the five-silver and five-bronze output in the last Para Games have been set as team targets in the third edition of the quadrennial meet.
"We'd like to add three each – three in the silver and bronze medal haul and hopefully, get that one gold. That's already a big improvement," Diaz said during the athletes' send-off at a restaurant in Quezon City on Friday, September 28.
A total of 57 Filipino athletes hope to turn that mission into fruition as they compete in 10 of the continental contest's 18 sports from October 6 to 13.
Dumapong-Ancheta remains as the country's top bet almost two decades since becoming the first Filipino to win a medal in the Paralympics when she snatched a bronze in Sydney in 2000.
Recently, the 44-year-old lifter also won a bronze in the 2018 World Para Powerlifting Asia-Oceania Open Championships.
The 48-year-old Medina, meanwhile, was the country's lone medalist in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janerio where she also snagged a bronze.
But Diaz said all Filipino delegates, who will fly to Jakarta with the battlecry of "Laban! Puso!" have vowed to pull out all the stops in their respective disciplines to bring home a medal.
"Lahat yan lalaban," he said. "[L]ahat 'yan nagsabi na malakas 'yung competition nila going into the Asian Para Games."
(All of them will fight. All of them said that they will compete strong going into the Asian Para Games.)
Aside from table tennis and powerlifting, the Philippines will compete in archery, athletics, badminton, chess, cycling, judo, swimming and tenpin bowling.
The 2010 and 2014 editions of the Asian Para Games were held in Guangzhou and Incheon, respectively. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.