Baguio sends athletes to 7th ASEAN Paragames

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

BAGUIO City will field three of its prime athletes to compete in the seventh Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Paragames from January 14-20 in Myanmar.

Together with 55 other athletes from all over the country, archers Agustina Bantiloc and Allan Campos, with power lifter Agustin Kitan will represent the country in the international sports event.

Archery coach John Hongitan said he hopes to have a better standing when it comes to their sport in the seventh staging of the Paragames this year.

"Mas prepared naman tayo ngayon compared last time since nagawang mag-practice ng mas maaga ng mga archers natin," said Hongitan.

Despite placing third against Malaysia and Indonesia in 2011, Hongitan said he looks forward to elevate archery in terms of a sport for the disabled particularly in the Cordillera.

"Mas marami kasi ang chances natin to haul medals kung mas marami tayong maproproduce na athletes, unlike now that we only have two so we cannot join team events," Hongitan said.

"We are losing our chance to really prove the maximized potential lalo ng mga archers natin," Hongitan added.

Meanwhile 2011 bronze medallist Bantiloc and first time Paragames competitor Campos said they look forward to win in their respective events.

"Basta makakuha ulit tayo iyon ang target ko, kailangan namin iyon to keep archery sa delegations in the future Paragames and other international events," said Bantiloc.

"First time ko sa Paragames but optimistically kakayanin natin since dati naman na tayong sumasali rin sa national events dito sa Pilipinas," Campos added.

Included in the delegation are table tennis ace Josephine Medina and bemedalled powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta, who seek to at least improve its fifth place finish in the last edition in Solo, Indonesia.

Medina hopes to bring the momentum from her semifinal stint in the individual C8 competitions in London to make waves in Myanmar while 2000 Paralympics bronze medalist Ancheta seeks to win her sixth straight Asean Paragames gold.

Kitan together with fellow powerlifter Achelle Guion, with Roger Tapia and Andy Avelana and Isidro Vildosola in athletics will also carry the fight for Philippines, along with swimmer Ernie Gawilan, a triple gold medalist and record-breaker in the last Asean Paragames.

The Philippines won 23 golds back in 2011 ranking an overall fifth place, led by the seven-gold harvest of Gawilan and the swimming team and the three-gold, one-silver, one-bronze feat of Medina in table tennis, along with 23 silvers and 38 bronzes.

Thailand will try to defend the overall title where they took a 126-96-73 gold-silver-bronze tow, with Indonesia (113-108-89), Malaysia (51-36-45), and Vietnam (44-44-72) taking the top four spots.

The Filipino Paragamers will participate in table tennis, swimming, athletics, powerlifting, chess, wheelchair basketball, and archery.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 03, 2014.


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