Team Pilipinas dominated the chess competition on Thursday in the 12th ASEAN Para Games at the Royal University, showcasing a historic performance by the Filipino athletes. They won a total of six gold medals in chess, marking a significant achievement in the biennial event.
Darry Bernardo led the way by securing the men’s individual and team B2B3 gold medals alongside Arman Subaste and Menandro Redor. This outstanding performance brought Bernardo’s total gold medal count to six, the highest among all Filipino participants in the event.
Cheyzer Mendoza also contributed to the success by earning two gold medals in the women’s individual and team PI categories, together with Cheryl Angot and Jean-Lee Nacita. Mendoza finished the competition with a remarkable five gold medals, making her the second most decorated athlete from the Philippines.
Sander Severino achieved a double gold victory by triumphing in the individual competition against Indonesian Maksum Firdaus and leading the team to victory alongside Felix Aguilera and Henry Lopez.
The Filipino chess players concluded the event with a total of 13 gold medals, three more than their performance in the previous year’s competition in Surakarta, Indonesia.
“Para sa bayan at pamilya po ng team ito,” said national para chess team coach James Infiesto, expressing the team’s dedication to the country and their families.
The remarkable success in chess propelled the Philippines to their best overall performance in the event, surpassing their previous record of 28 gold medals achieved in Surakarta, Indonesia.
In addition to the chess victories, javelin thrower Andrei Kuizon secured the 28th gold medal for the Philippines at the Morodok Techo National Stadium.
Kuizon, a 22-year-old athlete from Pampanga, won the gold in the F54 class after organizers decided to separate it from the F34 class. He had initially been awarded the silver medal but was later declared the gold medalist with a heave of 19.03 meters.
In swimming at the Morodok Aquatics Center, Gary Bejino and Marco Tinamisan earned silver medals in the 100m freestyle S6 and S4, respectively. Bejino, who had previously won two gold medals, finished second with a time of 1 minute and 15.09 seconds. Tinamisan recorded a time of 1 minute and 47.45 seconds, securing the silver behind Vietnam’s Danh Hoa.
Overall, the Filipino athletes showcased their talent and determination, bringing home numerous medals in various events at the ASEAN Para Games.