Mangliwan gains berth in Rio Paralympics
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Wheelchair racer Jerrold Pete Mangliwan became the fourth member of the lean Team Philippines that will do battle in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Mangliwan, winner of the T52 men’s 100m and 200m races gold medals and 400m race silver in the last Asean Para Games in Singapore, was granted a bipartite slot last week as the qualification period for the Sept. 7-18 tourney ended.

The 36-year-old Mangliwan joined veteran powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta, table tennis ace Josephine Medina and swimmer Ernie Gawilan in the squad that saw a dip in numbers from the nine-man crew four years ago.

The Philippine Sports Association for the Differently-Abled (Philspada) had actually requested for bipartite places for three bets in athletics and one in para triathlon but only Mangliwan got the nod from the bipartite commission on appeal.

“Masaya na rin kami dahil nadagdagan ang atleta natin (We’re happy we got one more athlete in),” chef de mission Dennis Esta said on the “Paralympic Hour” radio program.

Dumapong-Ancheta will be on her fifth straight appearance in the quadrennial games while Medina will make a second stint after reaching the semis last time. Mangliwan and Gawilan will be making their debut in Rio, where Team Philippines will be seeking to win a first medal since Dumapong-Ancheta bagged a bronze in 2000.

“Sixteen years na, hopefully this Paralympics in Rio ma-break na yung matagal na nating hinihintay na magka-medalya (It’s been 16 years since we last won a medal, hopefully we’ll break the jinx in Rio),” said Esta.

He said Philspada isn’t making any medal projection but assures everyone that the Paralympians will go all-out.

“Sabi ng mga athletes gagawin nila ang lahat hindi lang para sa karangalan ng bayan kundi para patunayan na hindi porke’t may kapansanan ay wala nang kakayahang mag-represent sa bansa sa sports. Sila mismo gustong gustong magkaroon ng medal sa Paralympics (The athletes vowed to give it their all.)

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