Team PH on verge of better Para Games finish
At the very least, Team Philippines already has matched its output from the last Asean Para Games.
A late decision by organizers proved key to that.
But with the vaunted chess team still in competition, and with bets from badminton and tennis still chasing gold, the country could very well surpass its previous haul as the event currently being held in Cambodia hits the homestretch.
Andrei Kuizon, benefitting from a decision from organizers to award winners of two different Para categories with golds, provided the 28th win for Team Philippines after a solid performance in javelin throw on Thursday at Morodok Techo National Stadium.
“[Organizers] decided to give the gold to Andrei and they sent us documentation that makes the gold official,” national track and field assistant coach Bernard Bren said.
Kuizon, a 22-year-old multidiscipline athlete who had stints in wheelchair basketball and shotput, originally settled for silver on Wednesday, with his 19.03-meter (m) heave falling short of gold winner Vivan Tung (21.33 m) of Vietnam.
But organizers eventually decided to award the winners of the F54 class and F34 class separately, thus awarding both athletes gold medals. The F54 class is reserved for athletes who compete in a seating position. The F34, meanwhile, is for field athletes whose trunk and arm movements are partially affected and whose legs are highly affected by their impairment.
The splitting of those divisions handed the reigning shot put champion the gold that matched the Philippines output in Indonesia a year ago.
Kuizon’s triumph added to the haul of the athletics team, which finished with 10 golds, 10 silvers and 11 bronzes, surpassing its 6-4-14 effort in Indonesia.
Team Philippines currently has a total output of 28-31-39, which outs it at the cusp of bettering last year’s output of 28-30-46.
The Filipino chessers, already contributing seven golds to the current count, could be the ones to push Team Philippines over the edge. After completing three of the six-round blitz chess competition, four Filipino players were currently at solo first place or tied for the lead in the different categories.
In swimming, Gary Bejino and Marco Tinamisan settled for a pair of silver medals in the 100-m freestyle S6 and S4, respectively.