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Philippines cops 2 bronzes in ASEAN Para Games

KUALA LUMPUR — Newcomer Claire Sunega Calizo and the relay team of Ernie Gawilan, Gary Bejino, Roland Sabido and Arnel Aba delivered a couple of bronze medals at the pool for a Philippine team that is still in search for its very first gold in the ninth ASEAN Para Games at the National Aquatic Center in Bukit Jalil here Monday.

Making her very first international debut after just a year of learning the sport, Calizo, 18, splashed her way to a bronze in the 100m freestyle S14 by clocking a minute and 15.47 seconds, finishing behind Indonesia’s Syuci Indriani and Singapore’s Danielle Yan Ting Moi, who took the gold and silver in 1:05.15 and 1:07.20, respectively.

Another Philippine entry, Judy Neblasca, wound up ninth and last in 1:34.53.

Gawilan, Bejino, Subido and Aba, for their part, needed a late push to swim its way from sixth to a bronze in 4:41.58, ending up behind Indonesia and Vietnam, which finished first and second in 4:26.05 and 4.36.42.

“I’m grateful for the bronze because I didn’t really expect anything,” said Calizo, a native of Aklan whose pet event is the 50m free set tomorrow, in Filipino.

Seven Filipino tankers that included Bejino, Sabido and Aba went for a medal but came painfully short.

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Bejino, Sabido and Aba checked in just fourth in the 100m free S7, 100m free S9 and 50m breaststroke SB7, respectively, the same fates by Neblasca in the 50m breaststroke, Edwin Villanueva in the 50m breast SB7 and Patrick Crisostomo in 50m breast SB14.

Adrian Azul finished eighth and last in the 200m freestyle S14.

It was the same in powerlifting as Romeo Tayawa lifted 110 kg for fourth place.

Marydol Pamatian and Achelle Guion missed taking the bronze as both failed to complete their lifts in the women’s 41kg division topped by Indonesian Nur Jannah Kamsyah with a 71-kg lift.

Malaysia’s Nurul Binto Nakri took the silver with 38kg.

Vietnamese Le Van Cong copped the gold with 181 kg while Laos’ Pia and Simay Eay picked up the silver and bronze with 130kg and 114kg.

Also in athletics, Bernie Bohol timed in 16.29 seconds to finish fifth in the 100m T54 ruled by Thai Saichen Konjen in 14.79.

Indonesian Jaenal Aripin and Van Vun of Cambodia settled for the silver and bronze in 14.84 and 15.12.

Menandro Ridor, the country’s flag-bearer here who scooped up four golds in the 2015 Singapore edition, FIDE Master Sander Severino and Henry Lopez pulled off two straight wins to jumpstart their golden bids in chess at the MITEC.

Redor downed Malaysians Hanson Ang Ping Ting and Saharuddin Mappa to zoom to the top alongside countryman Arman Sapida Subaste in the men’s standard event B2-B3 (partially blind).

Severino turned back Malaysian Ahmad Nazmi MD Nizam and Indonesian Azhar Panjaitan while Lopez bested countryman Felix Aguilera and another Indonesian Sutikno to share the lead in the men’s standard PI.

In goalball, the Philippines suffered a 7-17 rout at the hands of Laos, the Filipinos’ first defeat after nosing out Cambodia, 12-11, the day before.

Arthus Bucay, who gave the country a silver in the individual time trial the day before at the Velodrome Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, clocked 5:16.167 to qualify in the men’s 400m individual pursuit (C5) and is eyeing another medal finish in the finals at press time.

At the end of the day, the Philippines had only a silver and two bronze medals to show, which was only good for ninth out of 11 participants.

Indonesia zoom to the top with 21-8-11 (gold-silver-bronze) haul while Malaysia and Thailand were at second and third with 14-15-6 and 8-13-14 harvests.

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