Sprinter Cielo Honasan and bowler Christopher Chiu Yue came through with golden performances to hike the Philippines’ total gold medals to three in the ninth ASEAN Para Games at two separate venues in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday.
Honasan, a 15-year-old native of Santiago, Botolan, Zambales, was a class above anyone else in the 200m T44 where she snared the gold with a clocking of 28.51 seconds, besting Indonesian Karisma Evi Tiarani and Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Thuy at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
Tiarani and Nguyen timed in 31.12 and 33.07 to settle for the silver and bronze, respectively.
Yue, for his part, scored 1239 to beat Malaysians Mohd Azrin Bin Rahim’s 1216 and Abu Bakat Bin Nyat’s 1211 and bag the tenpin bowling gold held at Bandar Sunway in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Filipinos Angelito Guloya, Rufo Tablang, Benjamin Ramos also competed in the same event but wound up with 1011, 990 and 940, which was good for seventh, eighth and 14th place, respectively.
It was Honasan’s track gold though that shone the brightest as she dazzled right on her very first stint in this biennial meet for the differently abled.
“My dream is to compete and win here and I’m glad I got the chance to fulfill it,” said the 15-year-old Honasan.
Honasan knew she had it in the bag the moment she ran the heats where she emerged with the fastest time of 28.55, or some three seconds ahead of her closest pursuers.
She did not disappoint in the final.
Honasan will shoot for a sprint treble as she competes in the century dash on Wednesday and 400m on Thursday.
“That’s also my goal, to win three gold medals here,” she said.
The country also picked up two silver medals at the track courtesy of Jeanette Aceveda in shotput for F11 and F12 combined, and Arman Dino in the 400m for T47.
Dino’s second place finish came at the expense of Indonesian Marthin Losu and Thai Yamee Sutat, the gold and silver medallists in the 2015 Singapore staging. Dino clocked 52.77 while Sutat took the bronze in 53.38 and Losu ended up fourth in 53.75.
He did not expect Indonesian Nur Ferry Pradana, a Para Games rookie, to come out of nowhere to snatch the victory with a 50.49 time.
Claire Calizo, who copped a bronze in the 100m freestyle the day before, added a silver in swimming’s 200m freestyle for S14 with a time of 2:44.81, finishing behind eventual winner Daielle Moi Yan Ting of Singapore, who checked in at 2:29.89.
The Philippines has three golds, six silvers and four bronzes, which is good for seventh place as of publishing.