After 10-gold haul, PH para athletes yearn for equal treatment | Inquirer Sports

After 10-gold haul, PH para athletes yearn for equal treatment

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:10 AM October 29, 2023

Jerrold Mangliwan —TEAM PH PHOTO

Jerrold Mangliwan —TEAM PH PHOTO

Just recently, the Philippine government shelled out close to P42 million in incentives for medalists of the 19th Asian Games.

Time to open the wallet again.


The country’s top para athletes deserve just as much—at the very least—after a 10-gold haul during the Asian Para Games (APG) that came to a close Saturday night in Hangzhou, China.


“I hope this will be the start that para athletes like us will be equally recognized as our able-bodied counterparts,’’ said para swimmer Ernie Gawilan in Filipino after pitching in his share to the collection with a gold and one bronze in the pool.

Team Philippines wrapped up its campaign in the APG with a best finish of ninth place overall among 44 Asian countries after also bagging four silver and five bronze medals.

The national team in the Asian Games, meanwhile, collected four golds, two silvers and 12 bronzes—good for 17th out of 45 countries—earlier this month.

Every Asian Games host country since 2010 in Guangzhou, China, practices equality by staging the Asian Para Games shortly after the continental meet, sending a strong message of parity.

Host nations of the Olympics and the Southeast Asian Games have traditionally been holding the Paralympics and Asean Para Games immediately following the prime events for over two decades.

Republic Act No. 10699, or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, however, still lacks the equal treatment that para athletes and their coaches aspire for.


“We sacrifice and work as hard as regular athletes and give honor to our country, so I think we deserve it,’’ said Gawilan, who earned instant fame when the para swimmer from Davao City with no legs and an underdeveloped left arm won three golds in the 2018 Asian Para Games in Indonesia.

Chess players Menandro Redor, Cheyzer Mendoza, Darry Bernardo, Arman Subaste, Henry Roger Lopez, Jasper Rom and Sander Severino accounted for eight of the 10 gold medals that the Philippines captured in these Games.

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Wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan closed out the nation’s golden stint with a victory in the men’s 400-meter T52 race.

TAGS: Asian Para Games

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