Gawilan, Lopez bring home 2 golds for Team PH

DAVAO City's Ernie Gawilan struck for his second gold medal while Panabo City's Henry Roger Lopez helped the Philippines men's para chess team win two golds in the just-concluded 9th Asean Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Gawilan, 28, ended his stint in the biennial meet with a golden finish in men's 200-meter individual medley (IM) after he clocked a total of two minutes and 50.13 seconds at the National Aquatic Centre, Bukit Jalil Sports City.

The Dabawenyo bested James Wong Tienn Yu of Malaysia (2:50.98) and Dang Van Cong of Vietnam (3:20.05) who settled for the silver and bronze, respectively.

Gawilan's feat came on the heels of his successful defense of the men's 400-meter freestyle gold.

He, however, settled for a silver in men's 100m butterfly S8 and copped two bronzes in men's 4X100m medley relay and men's 4X100m freestyle relay events with teammates Anrel Aba, Gary Bejino and Roland Sabido.

The country's para swimming team hauled a total of three golds, three silvers and five bronzes.

"Best finish nako ni nga Para Games kay mas daghan man akong nauli nga medals. Nadungagan among relay bronze (This is my best Para Games so far because I brought home more medals. We got additional bronze in relay than last time)," Gawilan said in a Facebook interview.

Lopez, for his part, got two team chess golds (men's team standard P1, men's team rapid P1) and one individual silver (men's rapid P1).

Lopez lost the rapid P1 gold to fellow 5.5 scorer Indonesian Fide master Maksum Firdaus who had superior tiebreaks.

Filipino FM Sander Severino annexed the bronze.

Lopez, in a separate Facebook interview, said, "Since 2005, this is my seventh time in the Asean Para Games. As a team our debut in 2005 3rd Asean Para Games was the best because we swept all three categories."

He was the top scorer for the teamin rapid and the second best scorer in the standard event.

The country's chess team accounted for four golds, three silvers and six bronzes.

Indonesia emerged overall champion, harvesting 126 golds, 75 silvers and 50 bronzes while 90-85-83 Malaysia was second, 68-73-95 Thailand third, 40-61-60 Vietnam fourth and 20-20-29 Philippines fifth.


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