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Medina gunning for 13th table tennis gold in ASEAN Para Games

Josephine Medina

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Paralympic table tennis bronze medal winner Josephine Medina is eyeing to continue her golden streak in the ASEAN Para Games as she competes in the ninth edition unfolding on Sunday at Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex here.

Medina, afflicted by poliomyelitis in childhood, pocketed a bronze in the last Paralympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil last year. She is eyeing her 13th gold medal, looking to extend her golden reign in her eighth appearance in this biennial meet funded by the Philippine Sports Commission.

“I always think of giving it my best every time because I know my opponents are also tough and nothing is really certain,” said the 47-year-old Medina, a native of Oas, Albay who grew up in Marikina City, in Filipino.

“Thankfully, that mentality always works for me,” she added.

Medina is participating in the singles event as well as team event alongside Minnie de Ramos-Cadag, who has won a gold, silver and bronze during her ASEAN tilts.

She will be favored to win anew here after her feat in Rio, which catapulted her to sixth in the world rankings.

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Because of her accomplishments, Medina has gained fame and fortune, receiving an incentive amounting to P1 million while becoming a priority athlete with a monthly salary of P40,000 from the Philippine Sports Commission.

If she strikes gold, she will receive P150,000 as incentive.

And Medina is happy that she is reaping the fruits of her labor for years of toiling as Para athlete.

“We’re like floating athletes before because we only get to train if there’s competition,” said Medina, who was introduced to the sport by his father Roberto, a former national team player, as part of her therapy.

“I’m happy that our heartaches and hard work are paying off now,” she added.

Medina recalled being neglected by TATAP to be part of the regular national team a few decades ago because of her disability.

“I was winning medals in the National Open and age-group but they didn’t accept me because of my disability,” she recalled. “Maybe it was a blessing in disguise because I wouldn’t be given this opportunity if it hadn’t happened.”

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