PH para-athletes clinch eight golds in ASEAN Para Games 2023 Day 3

OUR TURN. The Philippines during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Para Games 2023 at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on June 3, 2023. PHOTO: Philippine Sports Commission/Twitter
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The Philippines got off to a strong start in the ASEAN Para Games 2023, securing eight gold medals on Sunday, June 4.
Para-athletes from swimming, athletics, powerlifting, and chess led the Filipino side on Day 3 of the competitions.
Following the opening ceremony, Gary Bejino and Ernie Gawilan secured the first two golds for the Pearl of the Orient. Bejino clocked a time of 5:38.26, topping the men's 400-meter freestyle S6 event and resetting the previous ASEAN Para Games record set by Aung Myint Myat of Myanmar in 2017.
FIRST GOLD. Gary Bejino swims his way to victory in the men's 400-meter freestyle S6 of the 12th ASEAN Para Games at Morodok Techo National Stadium Aquatics Center, Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Sunday (June 4, 2023). He will also compete in the 200m, 100m and 50m freestyle, and 50m butterfly, and will be leading the 4x100m medley relay team with fellow gold medalist Ernie Gawilan. PHOTO: PNA
"I'm happy to have won the first gold for the country," said the 27-year-old Tabaco, Albay native.
Ernie Gawilan successfully swam the gold medal in the men's 400-meter freestyle S7. PHOTO: PNA
Meanwhile, Gawilan claimed his 10th biennial meet title by clinching the men's 400m freestyle S7, completing the race in 4:58.78. He also earned a silver medal in the men's 100m freestyle S7.
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Filipina para swimmer Angel Otom contributed to swimming's success by taking the third gold for the nation with an impressive 42.36 finish in the women's 50m backstroke S5.
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Para chess also delivered three gold medals, with National Master Darry Bernardo becoming the Philippines' first double gold medalist in the Para Games 2023. Bernardo triumphed in the men's individual rapid VI-B2/B3 and also won the men's team rapid VI-B2/B3 event, alongside Menandro Redor and Israel Peligro.
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Additionally, Cheyzer Mendoza won gold in the women's individual rapid PI.
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In the women's shot put F54 event held at Morodok Techo National Stadium, the nationals achieved a 1-3 finish. Cendy Asusano claimed the gold with a score of 5.77m, while Marites Burce secured the third spot with 4.84m. Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thuy settled for silver with a score of 5.48m.
Asusano has the opportunity to win three golds in Phnom Penh 2023 by triumphing in the javelin on Monday, June 5, and the discus throw on Wednesday, June 7.
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In women's powerlifting, Marydol Pamati-an clinched the gold in (total lift) and silver (best lift) in the 41-kilogram division.
"At last, I have won the gold and silver medals. All the hard work has paid off," said Pamati-an, a single parent to a 15-year-old son, after the awarding ceremony. She previously won bronze in the 2014, 2015, and 2022 editions.
"I have trained so hard, and I am happy with what I have accomplished here in Cambodia. I am also very grateful to the people who are supporting me, especially Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta, who has inspired me all these years," Pamati-an expressed.
In the women's 45 kg category, 2012 and 2020 Olympic qualifier Achelle Guion secured two silver medals in the total lift and best lift, replicating her performance from last year in Surakata, Indonesia.
During Surakarta 2022, the Filipino contingent finished fifth place with 28 golds, 30 silvers, and 46 bronzes. This year, the para delegates aim to surpass their previous gold medal tally.

Last Modified: 2024-Jul-16 12.09 +0800