Team Philippines begins Tokyo Paralympics campaign

The Tokyo Paralympic PH team during the Summer Games opening ceremony on Tuesday.

MANILA, Philippines–Team Philippines officially began its campaign in the Tokyo Paralympics, participating in the opening ceremony Tuesday night at Japan’s National Stadium.

Led by flag bearer Jerrold Mangliwan, who is competing in wheelchair racing, the Philippine delegation waved miniature Philippine flags as the athletes and the officials paraded clad in Barong Tagalog.

Five athletes will be representing the country in swimming, athletics and taekwondo competitions, beginning with Gary Bejino who opens the Filipinos’ bid on Thursday in men’s swimming 200m individual medley SM6.

Bemedaled para swimmer Ernie Gawilan first sees action in men’s 200m IM SM7 event on Friday along with Rio Paralympian Mangliwan, who will race in the T52 men’s 400-meter preliminary heats.

Jeanette Aceveda shoots for the medal on August 31 in the women’s discus throw F11 while Allain Gapain competes in the men’s K44 – 75kg taekwondo competition on September 3.

Powerlifter Achele Guion pulled out of the Paralympic Games after testing positive for COVID-19, along with her coach and two sports officials, before leaving for Japan.

The Para Games are opening amid a “very difficult” situation as the host nation grapples with the worsening COVID-19 crisis, with record new infections and overwhelmed healthcare system.

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