Team Pilipinas secured three additional gold medals, two of which were obtained in swimming, during the 12th ASEAN Para Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Monday.
Gary Bejino showcased another remarkable performance, this time in the men’s 200-meter freestyle S6 event at the Aquatics Center of Morodok Techo National Stadium. He achieved a time of 2:38.55, breaking the previous record of 2:45.99 set by Myanmar’s Aung Myint Myat last year in Indonesia.
Channi Wongnonthaphum of Thailand won the silver medal with a time of 2:53.10. Meanwhile, Thanh Hai Do of Vietnam settled for the bronze medal with a time of 2:54.23.
“It’s my first time competing in the 200m freestyle event, and I’m delighted to have won the gold,” said the 27-year-old native of Tabaco, Albay province.
Bejino also secured the country’s first gold medal by winning the 400m freestyle last Sunday. He still has four more events to participate in, including three individual events and one relay (4×100 medley).
“I believe I have a good chance. I will give it my best,” said Bejino, who previously won three medals at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Ariel Joseph Alegarbes also triumphed in the men’s 50m butterfly S14, finishing in 26.69 seconds and surpassing Malaysians Bryan Lau Sze Kai (27.060) and Muhammad Imaan Aiman (27.530).
This marks Alegarbes’ second medal after winning the silver in the 100m breaststroke on Sunday. He served as the flag-bearer for the Philippine delegation during the opening ceremony parade.
Ernie Gawilan (men’s 100m backstroke S7) and Edwin Villanueva (men’s 50m breaststroke SB7) both secured third place in their respective events.
In athletics, Cendy Asusano threw the javelin 13.74 meters in the women’s F54 event, earning her second gold medal. Marites Burce, also from the Philippines, claimed the silver with a distance of 11.96m.
Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thuy took home the bronze with a throw of 11.56m.
Other silver medalists in athletics were King James Reyes (men’s 1500m T46), Jolan Camacho (men’s long jump), and Jesebel Arevalo (women’s javelin throw F55).
As of press time, the Philippines ranks fifth with 11 gold, 17 silver, and 15 bronze medals.
Meanwhile, three powerlifters are scheduled to compete later in the day at the National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia (NPCC) Hall. Denesia Esnara, who won two bronze medals in the women’s 50kg category last year, will compete in the 55kg category. The other competitors are Gregorio Payat (men’s 59kg) and Cherrylyn Sugue (women’s 67kg).
The powerlifting team has already secured four medals, including a gold and a silver from Marydol Pama-tian in the women’s 41kg category, on Sunday. Paralympian Achelle Guion also won two silver medals in the women’s 45kg category.
Indonesia currently leads the medal tally board with 39 golds, 33 silvers, and 27 bronzes, followed by Vietnam (26-21-29), Thailand (22-27-19), and Malaysia (19-13-7).