At tail end of career, polio victim lifter looks for another fruitful ASEAN Para games stint
Although she’s already a veteran of numerous wars, powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta still feels the nerves as she prepares for the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur.
“There’s still pressure. Although this would be my eighth time in the ASEAN Para Games, I know that I’m also not getting younger,” Dumapong-Ancheta, who is once again competing in the +85 kg category of women’s powerlifting, said in Filipino.
At 43 years old, Dumapong-Ancheta, a polio victim, acknowledges that time is no longer on her side.
“I know that in a few years time, I’ll be retiring. I told myself that if I won’t win a medal in the ASEAN Para Games level, I think that should be the time that I step away and make a graceful exit,” she said.
But her coach Ramon Debuque still maintains his belief on the Ifugao native. That is enough to keep Dumapong-Ancheta fighting as she looks to add another gold medal to her already stocked collection.
“I had a talk with my coach and he told me that I still have time. He told me that I still have five years or more, and I intend to give my best in these last competitions,” she said.
Dumapong-Ancheta is also happy to see the Philippine paralympic movement evolve since she first started in 1997.
“I’m glad to see that in terms of support for the athletes, the interest for disability sports have gone up. We’ve gone a long way and I’m proud to say that I was part of that journey. Looking back to those days that we didn’t have uniforms and any formal training, to what it is today where we get whole year training and allowances, I’m just glad for everything that has been given to us,” she said.
Her bronze medal win in the +82.5 kg category at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics opened the floodgates for Dumapong-Anchenta and differently abled athletes as sports officials and sponsors started giving them a second look.
But with the benefits come the expectations, and Dumapong-Ancheta said the Filipino paraathletes are motivated they deserve the support as they seek to bring home medals in the regional tiff.
“We know we can compete and we can defend whatever we’ve won before. We also know that we shouldn’t just match, but also surpass the records we’ve had in the past. We intend to give our all every time,” she said.
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