PH powerlifter Achele Guion out of Tokyo Paralympics due to COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines—The country’s Tokyo Paralympic team has been trimmed to five athletes after powerlifter Achele “Jinky” Guion tested positive for COVID-19, the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) announced in a statement Tuesday.
Guion’s coach Antonio Taguibao also yielded a positive result.
“Jinky is deeply frustrated that she will not be able to compete in her powerlifting event for her country after training for so long, and especially getting much inspiration from Hidilyn Diaz, a powerlifter like herself and the first Filipino to win an Olympic gold” said PPC president Michael Barredo.
Two more members of the Philippine delegation in Chef de Mission Francis Diaz and Para Athletics coach Joel Derlada tested positive.
“Despite this most unfortunate development, all our Para-athletes remain in high spirits and committed to give their best possible performances to bring honor and glory for our country,” said Barredo, who took over as Chef de Mission.
The remaining para athletes have already settled in Tokyo as the Para Games officially open Tuesday night.
Aiming to win the gold for the country are swimmers Ernie Gawilan and Gary Bejino, Jerrold Magnliwan and discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda for athletics and taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin.
The Paralympics is set from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5 after it was pushed back a year later like the Summer Games due to the pandemic.
In the 2016 Paralympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, the Philippines sent five athletes and wound up winning one medal courtesy of Josephine Medina’s table tennis bronze.