The Philippines’ rode on its wonderful track and field team in raking in three more gold medals and staying afloat in the 12th ASEAN Para Games at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Tuesday.
King James Reyes saved the best for last as he finally struck gold in the men’s 800 meters T46 where he timed in two minutes and 13.22 seconds after a pair of silver-medal efforts in 5000m Sunday and 1500m on Monday.
Over at the nearby practice field where the other throwing events were staged, Rosalie Terrefiel and Andrei Kuizon likewise snared a gold each with the former reigning supreme in women’s javelin F11 and the latter ruling men’s shot put F54/54.
The feats hiked the Joel Deriada-mentored squad’s total to six, which already matched its haul last year in Surakarta, Indonesia with still one day remaining in the four-day centerpiece event.
“Our goal is to improve on our six gold last time and we’re close to achieving that,” said Deriada, who thanked the Philippine Sports Commission, PhilSpada, Philippine Paralympic Committee, and their manager Judith Staples for their support.
Indonesia continued to hold sway at the helm with a 71-61-41 harvest followed by Thailand’s 46-49-36, Vietnam’s 31-29-45 and Malaysia’s 30-23-14.
“We’re still on target in surpassing the 28 gold medals who won last year in Surakarta,” said PSC commissioner and chef-de-mission Walter Torres.
Over at the Morodok Aquatics Center, Jerold Mangliwan ruled the men’s 400m T52 in 1:01.93 hike the country’s total gold harvest to 18.
On the other hand, Ariel Joseph Alegarbes managed a silver in the 100m butterfly S14, who clocked 1:00.73 in finishing behind eventual winner Muhd Imaan Aiman of Malaysia with 1:00.35.
The country had earlier scooped up five mints in the first two days including two by Gary Bejino, who accomplished both in record-breaking fashions.
Reyes, a 21-year-old native of Loreto, Agusan del Sur, said he drew inspiration from his faith and family.
“Sila po ang inspirasyon ko,” said Reyes, who lost his right arm after falling from a three when he was still five years old.
For Torrefiel, she was a cut above the rest in her class where she heaved a 19.33m in finishing ahead of Thai Ratnaningsih Ratnaningsih (18.05) and Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Chin (17.98).
The same with Kuizon, a protégé of former national team mainstay Nixon Mas who blew away the competition with a 7.27m, or more than three meters ahead of eventual silver winner Phe Phawat of Cambodia who had a 4.17m.
Over at the Table Tennis Hall also in Morodok, the Filipino paddlers produced a pair of bronzes courtesy of Smith Billy Cartera and Racleo Martinez (men’s class 4 team event) and Leo Macalanda, Jobert Lumanta and Jayson Ocampo (men’s class 8).
In chess at the Royal University, rapid gold winners Darry Bernardo and Cheyzer Mendoza all stayed on course in adding another one as they led their respective divisions after three rounds in the standard division.