Swimmer Gary Bejino topped the men’s 400-meter freestyle S6 to give the Philippines its first gold medal in the 12th ASEAN Para Games at Morodok Techo National Stadium Aquatics Center here on Sunday.
The 27-year-old native of Tabaco, Albay province clocked five minutes and 38.260 seconds, a new Games record that erased the 6:07.99 set by Myanmar’s Aung Myint Myat during the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Myat finished second (6:04.170), followed by Vietnam’s Do Thanh Hai (6:14.280).
“I’m happy for giving the first gold to the country,” said Bejino.
Ernie Gawilan, who saw action in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics along with Bejino, pocketed the gold medal in the men’s 400-meter freestyle S7 with a time of 4:58.78.
Singapore’s Wi Soong Toh (5:16.84) took the silver while Vietnam’s Han Quang Thoai (5:37.66) settled for the bronze.
Bejino will also compete in the 200m, 100m and 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly, and will be leading the 4x100m medley relay team with Gawilan.
Team Philippines flag-bearer, Ariel Joseph Alegarbes, secured the silver medal in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB14 (1:13.59).
Malaysia’s Mohd Adib Igbal Abdullah won the gold in 1:09.54 while Singapore’s Darren Wei Siang Chan (1:18.82) took the bronze.
Meanwhile, Cendy Asusano captured the women’s shot put F54 gold medal in 5.77 meters at the Morodok Techno National Stadium. She improved her 5.65m performance in also winning the gold last year in Surakarta, Indonesia.
Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thuy placed second in 5.48m, followed by Filipino Marites Burce (4.84m).
“My target is three gold medals,” said the 33-year-old Asusano, who will compete in the javelin on Monday and discus throw on Wednesday.
Over at the Royal University, the Filipino woodpushers led by Sander Severino boosted their gold-medal chances after leading in three of the six classes in the rapid event.
Severino, who won four golds last year, drew with fellow FIDE Master Maksum Firdaus of Indonesia to share the lead in the men’s PI class with compatriot Henry Lopez, a winner over teammate Jasper Rom, with 3.5 points apiece going into the last two rounds.
Cheyzer Crystal Mendoza is on top of the women’s PI division with 3.5 points, while Darry Bernardo is also leading after winning four games, including one over Indonesia’s Gayuh Satrio. (PNA)