By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE Philippines’ campaign in the ongoing Asian Para Games in Indonesia continues to bear fruit with the country’s para athletes adding to their total medal haul.
As of 12 noon on Wednesday, the Philippines has accumulated a total of 10 hardwares, broken down to two gold, four silver, and four bronze medals, with four days left in the competition.
Para table tennis player and Rio de Janeiro Olympian Josephine Medina added a silver medal to the Philippines’ collection after placing second in the women’s singles TT8 event to China’s Mao Jingdian on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Ecovention Ancol in Jakarta.
Polio-stricken Medina, who won bronze in the Rio Paralympics two years ago, fell, 11-8, 11-3 and 11-6, in the finals to settle for the silver medal.
She had a lot of momentum heading into the finals, having beaten convincingly Thailand’s Kanlaya Kriabklang and China’s Huang Wenjian in earlier matches.
Also adding silver to the Philippines’ haul was swimmer Ernie Gawilan, the most successful Filipino para athlete so far in the ongoing Games.
Wounding up second in the men’s 100m freestyle S7 event also on Tuesday, Mr. Gawilan, who was born with no legs and an underdeveloped left limb, has now won three medals.
Previously, Davao City’s Gawilan won the gold in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7 and silver in the men’s 50m freestyle S7.
In the men’s 100m freestyle S7 event, Gawilan registered a time of one minute, 6.74 seconds behind gold medal winner Wei Soong Toh (1:03.16) of Singapore.
Donggu Lee of South Korea ended up third in the race with a time of 1:11.87.
Meanwhile, giving bronze were cyclist Godfrey Taberna and swimmer Gary Bejino.
Competing in the men’s road cycling C4 event, Mr. Taberna finished third best with a time of two hours, 11 minutes and 24.359 seconds to bag the bronze.
Ruling the event, held at the Sentul International Circuit, was Wei Guoping of China (2:11:23.665) followed Najib Mohb of Malaysia (2:11:24.307).
Mr. Bejino, for his part, chalked up his second bronze with a third-place finish in the men’s 100m freestyle S6.
The Filipino para swimmer timed in at one minute and 15.32 seconds, behind gold medallist Kazakhstan’s Salimgereyev Yerzhan (1:12.22) and silver winner Yang Hong (1:14.04) of China.
The bronze was in addition to the one he won in the men’s 100m backstroke S6 event.
As of this writing, the Philippines sits at 14th place in the medal standings.
Other Filipino medal winners are Kim Ian Chi (gold) in bowling, Achelle Guion (silver) in powerlifting, and Arthus Bucay (bronze) in cycling.
China continues to top the medal race with a total so far of 81 gold, 38 silver and 30 bronze medals followed by South Korea (25-21-15) and Uzbekistan (19-9-6).