The Philippines leaned on three gold medals in chess as it raked in an eight-gold haul on Tuesday, to zoom to the fifth spot in the 9th ASEAN Paralympic Games at Hall 3 of the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
FIDE Master Sander Severino drew his sixth and final round match with Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Tuan to claim the individual gold in standard play of the physically impaired with 5.5 points, half a point ahead of FM Maksum Firdaus of Indonesia.
Severino’s points — plus the 3.5 points of Henry Lopez, who halved the point with Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Quan — gave the nine points.
But the Philippines wound up with the better tiebreaker courtesy of the highest individual score, provided by Severino, to clinch the team crown.
The country’s flag-bearer Menandro Redor and Arman Subastre missed the gold but teamed up with Israel Peligro to snatch the team gold with 9.5 points, besting Indonesia, which relied on individual gold winner Gayu Satrio, by a full point.
Satrio and Redor, the country’s most bemedaled athlete in the 2015 Singapore edition, actually ended up tied for first with five points, but the former was the awarded the gold via win-over-the-other tiebreak after beating the latter in the fourth round.
There was some confusion before the awarding ceremony, however, after organizers initially declared Redor as champion because the tiebreaker applied was in a different manner than the originally agreed upon, which is the winner-over-the-other rule.
“If we are going to win, we should win fair and square so,” said chess team coach James Infiesto in Filipino.
Severino, a 32-year-old native of Silay City, Negros Occidental, who had muscular dystrophy when he was still a child, will be gunning for two more golds as the two-day rapid play starts on Wednesday.
“I hope we I could give our country more gold medals because everything we do here is for our countrymen,” said Severino, who already matched his two-gold haul in Singapore.
Cielo Honasan nails second gold
Over at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Cielo Honasan nailed the century dash gold in 13.96 to complete a sprint double after she topped the 200m Monday night.
Honasan, 15-year-old polio victim who runs with a longer left leg, will shoot for a sprint treble as he competes in the 400m on Wednesday.
Prudencia Panaligan also came through with a mint in the 100m for T52/53/54 with a clocking of 18.32, edging Thai Chainet Srithong (18.67) and Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Xuan Anh (18.78).
Gary Bejino blazes trail for Philippine tankers
Gary Bejino ended a golden wait after two uneventful first two days for the Filipinos at the pool as he delivered the country’s first swimming gold in the 400m freestyle for S7 in 5:33.81, almost half a minute ahead of eventual silver medallist Kaweewat Sittichaiphonniti (6:02.26).
Roland Sabido contributed a silver in the 400m free for S9 in 5:15.66, behind winner Jendi Pangabean of Indonesia, who clocked in at 4:58.35.
Ernie Gawilan seized the 400m free gold for S8 and went for another one in 100m butterfly but ended up settling for a silver.
Gawilan, 26, was victorious in the 400m free as he timed in 4:57.49, beating Vietnam’s Dag Van Cong (5:56.09) and Thailand’s Phiphatphong Sianglam (5:59.94) but was no match to Malaysian Tien Yu James Wong’s 1:12.94 in the 100m fly where the former checked in at 1:19.86.
Arthus Bacay cops cycling’s first gold
Over at the Dataran Putrajaya track, Arthus Bucay copped cycling’s first gold by topping the men’s individual time trial for C5 with a time of 17:44.186, besting Malaysia’s Zuhairie Bin Ahmad Tarmzi and Indonesia’s Sufyan Saori, who took the silver and bronze in 19:11.953 and 19:38.150, respectively.
Bucay, a 36-year-old Marikina-based Paralympian, failed in his bid to win the mint a couple of times as he settled for a pair of silvers in the one-kilometer track and 4000 individual pursuit entering yesterday’s event.
He finally hit the jackpot on this one.
Godfrey Taberna, for his part, managed a bronze in the ITT for C4 as he clocked 18:47.586 behind Malaysian Mohd Najib Bin Turano’s 17:56.306 and Indonesian Muhammad Fadli Imammuddin’s 18:16.930.
By day’s end, the Philippines had improved to 11 golds on top of 12 silvers and 11 bronzes, and climbed from seventh the day before to fifth overall.