Record 10 golds make them truly special
Para athletes are welcomed on their arrival at the NAIA Terminal 3 yesterday from the Jakarta Para Games.
KJ Rosales

Record 10 golds make them truly special

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino triathletes arrived home yesterday to a heroes’ welcome after their historic performance in the just-concluded third Asian Para Games in Jakarta where they landed a record  10 gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals.

Tanker Ernie Gawilan and chesser Sander Severino earned P6.66 million in incentives after emerging the best Filipino performers in the quadrennial meet among 44 Asian countries.

Gawilan is set to receive P4 million for copping three gold medals and two silvers while Severino will get P2.66M for his four-gold feat, including two in individual competition and two in team play in standard and rapid divisions.

Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez said incentives are worth P1 million for gold, P500,000 for silver and P200,000 for bronze as mandated by law.

“I am jubilant on the Para Games Philippines performances. In behalf of the PSC, congratulations to our team for making the country proud,” said Ramirez.

Henry Lopez was the third highest earner with P1.66 million for two team golds and two individual silvers in chess while bowler Kim Ian Chi will receive P1.5 M for a gold and a doubles silver with Samuel Matias.

Cyclist Arthus Bucay will take home P1.2M for a gold and a bronze effort.

Other medalists were chessers Arman Subaste, Menandro Redor and Israel Peligro (team gold), swimmer Gary Bejino (silver, bronze), powerlifter Achelle Guion (silver), cyclist Godfrey Taberna (bronze), table tennis’ Josephine Medina (silver), and powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta (bronze).

Ramirez said they have fully supported the Phl campaign in Jakarta and will continue to do so as  the country hosts the 2019 ASEAN Para Games next year.

“We treated the regular elite and para athletes equal – in terms of allowance, and other privileges of national athletes and coaches,” said Ramirez. “And the support will continue especially now that the team has shown resolve and fighting spirit.”

For Phl Paralympic Olympic Committee president Tom Carrasco, it was a pleasantly surprising performance.

“It was incredibly successful, beyond our expectations,” said Carrasco.

Because of the success of the Nationals, Carrasco said Asian Para Games chef de mission Kiko Diaz would continue to serve his position in both the Manila ASEAN Para Games and the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan.

“The athletes worked and trained really hard and they deserve the accolades. The leadership shown by Kiko Diaz is also commendable and he’ll surely lead again our team in the coming ASEAN and the 2020 Paralympics,” said Carrasco.

The medal output improved on the no gold, one silver, five bronze medals in the 2014 Para Games in Incehon, South Korea.

On their arrival, they said they are excited as they shift their focus on the ASEAN and Paralympics, which will be held in January and August of 2020, respectively.

“Our focus now is the ASEAN Para Games and the Paralympics,” said Medina, silver medalist in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

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