Sprinter, powerlifter bring PH’s ASEAN Para gold count to 16
Pinay teenage sprint phenom Cielo Honasan and veteran lifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta powered the Philippines as it hiked its gold medal count to 16 in the 9th ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur.
The 15-year-old Honasan ran her way to the 400m gold for T44 and T45 combined in 63.35 seconds to add to her mints in the 100m and 200m the previous days.
She beat Thailand’s Gagun Pagjiraporn, who started out strong but fizzled in the end to settle for the silver with 66.41. Cambodian Vet Chanta settled for the bronze with 76.43.
It was a scintillating performance by Honasan, a polio victim, who was discovered competing in the regular event of the Palarong Pambansa.
After crossing the finish line, Honasan could only cry out due to both exhaustion and euphoria.
“I just couldn’t control my emotions, that’s why I cried,” explained Honasan, who is set to receive a P150,000 for each gold she won as an incentive mandated by law.
Meanwhile, Dumapong-Ancheta, one of the Filipino Para Games pioneers, continued to cast a giant shadow at the powerlifting competition as she captured the over 86kg gold with a lift of 116kg.
Indonesia’s Sriyanti and Malaysia’s Sharifah Raudzah Binti were reduced to ashes by Dumapong-Ancheta’s dominating effort by 105kg and 95kg, respectively.
Dumapong-Ancheta could have broken her record of 118kg but opted not to attempt anymore knowing she had already achieved what she hoped for.
“I just want the gold, nothing else,” said the 43-year-old Dumapong-Ancheta, the country’s first Paralympic medal winner after taking home a bronze in Sydney 17 years ago.
Honasan’s gold was the country’s 16th overall on top of 17 silvers and 18 bronzes to match its Singapore output.
Indonesia had virtually clinched the overall title with still two days to go after reaping 90 golds, 51 silvers and 36 bronzes, fending off Malaysia’s bid to snatch it as the host country was stranded at No. 2 with a 68-63-51 (gold-silver-bronze) haul.
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