Medina, Gawilan banner PH para Games roster
Paralympics bronze medalist Josephine Medina of table tennis and Asian Para Games triple gold medalist Ernie Gawilan of swimming will headline a projected cast of 10 Filipino athletes who will be mixing it up to seize medals in the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics.
Gawilan, the first Filipino to capture a gold in the Asian Para Games, is currently in Berlin, Germany, eagerly waiting for the World Para Swimming World Series to unfold on June 17-20 where his classification will be finalized.
“This will be a good tuneup for the Paralympics. I will also get to compete with the best para swimmers in the world,’’ said Gawilan in Filipino, who also brought home two silvers during the 2018 Asian Para Games besides the three golds.
Taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin already got a bi-partite invite to see action while Medina, who saved the Team Philippines campaign in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Paralympics with a bronze, is patiently expecting a communication for her official qualification.
“I’m in good shape. As of now, I’m just praying that I can make it to the final selection for the Paralympics,’’ said Medina.
Wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan is likewise anticipating his formal entry after reaching the high-performance standard in the 400m during Para Athletics Grand Prix last month in Nottwill, Switzerland.
“We are just waiting for an official announcement with respect to their qualifications. As for Ernie (Gawilan), we will know his classification in Berlin,’’ said Philippine Paralympic Committee president Michael Barredo, the new vice president of the Asian Paralympic Committee.
The Davao City-based Gawilan, a tanker with underdeveloped extremities, was classified S7 in the freestyle and backstroke events during the Asian Para Games.
The International Paralympic Committee identified 10 different sport classes for athletes with physical impairment. The lower the number, the more severe the activity limitation. INQ
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