MANILA, Philippines – Filipino para athletes got off to a sizzling start in the ASEAN Para Games in Indonesia after bagging five golds on Monday, August 1.
Swimming churned out three golds, while athletics delivered two golds as familiar faces and newcomers rose to the occasion for the Philippines in the 11-nation meet.
An Asian Para Games swimming champion, Ernie Gawilan lived up to expectations by ruling the men’s 400m freestyle S7 with a time of 4:58.87.
“I swam well in first event. I hope this continues,” said Gawilan, who won two golds, one silver, and two bronzes in the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Para swimmer Roland Sabido followed suit by reigning in the men’s 400m freestyle S9 as he and compatriot Arnel Aba notched a 1-2 finish with times of 5:09.40 and 5:14.13, respectively.
Angel Otom completed swimming’s opening day haul by striking gold in the women’s 50m backstroke, marking a sensational ASEAN Para Games debut with a time of 41.68 seconds.
Perennial Paralympian and athletics team captain Jerrold Mangliwan also shared the spotlight after clocking 19.18 seconds to reclaim his throne in the men’s 100m T52 event.
Mangliwan saw off a tough challenge from compatriot Rodrigo Podiotan Jr, who settled for silver.
Veteran thrower Cendy Asusano started things off for the athletics team with a gold in the women’s javelin throw following a heave 13.7m.
“I’m happy to because I did not think I will get the gold in just my first attempt,” said Asusano, who looks to replicate her golden treble in 2017 as she sees action in the discus throw and shot put.
Meanwhile, two-time Asian Para Games powerlifting silver medalist Achelle Guion fell short of the top prize in the women’s 45kg of powerlifting with a hoist of 70kg.
Home bet Ni Nenga Widiasih bested Guion for the gold after lifting 97kg.
Athletics’ Joel Balatucan (men’s shot put F55), Daniel Enderes Jr (men’s 5,000m T20), Arman Dino (men’s 100m T47), and Jesebel Tordecilla (women’s discus throw F55) also contributed bronzes.
Swimming also chimed in a bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay, while veteran powerlifter Marydol Pamati-an added another bronze in the women’s 41kg.
Table tennis provided a pair of bronzes in the men’s team class 4 behind Billy Cartera, Racleo Martinez, and Darwin Salvacion, and in the men’s class 8 doubles courtesy of Jobert Lumanta and Jayson Ocampo.
Counting the silver in men’s 3×3 wheelchair basketball on Sunday, the Filipinos now boast a medal tally of five golds, four silvers, and nine bronzes.
The Philippines looks to surpass its haul of 20 golds, 20 silvers, and 29 bronzes in 2017. – Rappler.com