(UPDATED) The Philippines secured its first gold medal in the 12th ASEAN Para Games after Gary Bejino topped the Men’s 400M Freestyle S6 - Paraswimming event of the tournament.
Bejino, who clocked in at 5:38.26, not only won the country's first gold but also set the event's new record.
It was a record-breaking effort for the 27-year-old Bejino as he shattered the old mark of 6:07.99 set by Aung Myint Myat of Myanmar six years ago in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Myat saw action in Phnom Penh but settled for silver in 6:04.17.
Fellow paraswimmer Ernie Gawilan will also be bringing a gold medal after finishing first at the Men’s 400M Freestyle S7 final after clocking in with a time of 4:58.78.
“Masaya tayo dahil una tayo na nakabigay ng unang ginto sa bansa natin,” said Bejino, a Tabaco, Albay native who also scheduled to compete in the 200m, 100m and 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 4x100m medley relay where he and Gawilan leading the squad.
Angel Otom, for his part, sniped the 50m backstroke S5 mint.
The country's third gold medal came after Cendy Asusano went on to win the Para Athletics Women’s Shot Put F54. Another Filipina brought a medal in the event after Marites Burce secured a bronze finish.
The 33-year-old Asusano vowed to add two more mints in javelin on Sunday and discus throw Wednesday.
“Tinatarget ko po three gold,” said Asusano, who had already sniped a total of six gold in all including three in Kuala Lumpur in 2017 and two last year in Surakarta, Indonesia.
Over at the National Paralympic Committee Hall, Marydol Pamati-an finally hit it big after a long search and struck gold in the women’s 41-kilogram division.
She could have snatched a second one but settled for a silver after she lost via tiebreak to Indonesian Eneng Paridah even though they both had the best lift of 75kg.
Achelle Guion, a Paralympic veteran, chipped in a couple of silvers in the women’s 45kg division.
Also at the pool, Ariel Joseph Alegarbes, the flag-bearer and a triple gold winner in Surakarta, pocketed the silver in the 100m breaststroke SB14 with a clocking of 1:13.59.
Malaysian Mohd Adib Igbal Abdullah captured the gold in 1:09.54 while Singapore’s Darren Wei Siang Chan the bronze in 1:18.82.
In chess at the Royal University, Darry Bernardo bagged two gold in men’s individual rapid chess B2B3 and team with Menandro Redor and Israel Peligro to hike the country’s total to seven.