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Team Phl jacks up golden collection

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PSC | CENDY Asusano celebrates after securing her second gold medal in the women’s F54 event of the 14th ASEAN Para Games.

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Team Philippines bagged three more gold medals, including two in swimming, at the 12th ASEAN Para Games here on Monday.

Gary Bejino came up with another record-breaking performance, this time in the men’s 200-meter freestyle S6 event at the Morodok Techo National Stadium’s Aquatics Center.

He clocked two minutes and 38.55 seconds to erase the old mark of 2:45.99 set by Myanmar’s Aung Myint Myat last year in Indonesia.

Channi Wongnonthaphum of Thailand took the silver medal in 2:53.10 while Thanh Hai Do of Vietnam settled for the bronze medal in 2:54.23.

“It’s my first time to compete in the 200m freestyle event and I’m happy that I won the gold,” said the 27-year-old native of Tabaco, Albay province.

Bejino, who delivered the country’s first gold medal after claiming victory in the 400m freestyle last Sunday, has four more events — three individual and one relay (4×100 medley).

“I think that I have a good chance. I will do my best,” said Bejino, who won three medals at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

Ariel Joseph Alegarbes also won the men’s 50m butterfly S14 in 26.69 seconds, beating Malaysians Bryan Lau Sze Kai (27.060) and Muhammad Imaan Aiman (27.530).

It was the second medal for Alegarbes, the Philippine delegation’s flag-bearer during the opening ceremony parade, after winning the silver in the 100m breaststroke on Sunday.

Ernie Gawilan (men’s 100m backstroke S7) and Edwin Villanueva (men’s 50m breaststroke SB7) finished third.

In athletics, Cendy Asusano registered 13.74 meters in the women’s javelin throw F54 event to collect her second gold medal.

Her compatriot, Marites Burce, got the silver medal in 11.96m while Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thuy won the bronze (11.56).

The other silver medalists in athletics were King James Reyes (men’s 1500m T46), Jolan Camacho (men’s long jump) and Jesebel Arevalo (women’s javelin throw F55).

The Philippines is ranked fifth with 11 gold, 17 silver and 15 bronze medals, as of press time.

Meanwhile, three powerlifters were scheduled to compete later in the day at the National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia Hall.

Denesia Esnara, who won two bronze medals in the women’s 50kg last year, will see action in the 55kg category. Others competing are Gregorio Payat (men’s 59kg) and Cherrylyn Sugue (women’s 67kg).

The powerlifting team had already won four medals, including a gold and a silver from Marydol Pama-tian in the women’s 41kg category, on Sunday. The other two silvers came from Paralympian Achelle Guion in the women’s 45kg category.

Indonesia leads the medal tally board with 39 golds, 33 silvers and 27 bronzes followed by Vietnam (26-21-29), Thailand (22-27-19) and Malaysia (19-13-7).

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