LONDON paralympian powerlifter Achelle “Jinky” Guion — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

LONDON paralympian powerlifter Achelle “Jinky” Guion was named as flag-bearer of the Philippine team seeing action in the 11th Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) Para Games (APG) set on July 30 to Aug. 6 in Solo, Indonesia.

“We are pleased to announce that Jinky (Ms. Guion) has accepted our invitation to be our flag-bearer at the head of the Philippine delegation during the opening of the 11th ASEAN Para Games,” said Philippine Paralympic Committee President Mike Barredo in a statement.

“(Ms.) Guion’s selection is in recognition for her past athletic accomplishments in giving honor to the country,” he added.

Ms. Guion grabbed the silver in the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta Asian Para Games, finished sixth in last year’s Tokyo Games and ranked eighth in the World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia a year back.

She will spearhead the 212-strong Philippine delegation that included 144 athletes during the opening day parade of the 11-nation meet at the Manahan Stadium where no less than Indonesian President Joko Widodo is attending.

“We laud the selection of Ms. Guion as the national team flag-bearer to the 11th ASEAN Para Games. She embodies the best and brightest of what our national athletes are capable of,” said Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) executive director and officer-in-charge Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Jr.

With the PSC funding both the over month-long training bubble of the national para-athletes at the PhilSports Complex and their participation in the 11th APG, Mr. Iroy was optimistic that the PH campaigners would do well in their first major international competition in over two years.

The country is seeking to surpass its 20-gold, 20-silver, and 29-bronze haul in 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which was good for fifth.

Except for three officials headed by chef de mission Walter Perez, the delegation is scheduled to leave on a chartered flight straight to Surakarta on July 26, four days before the biennial meet that features 24 events in 11 sports formally begins. — Joey Villar