HANGZHOU, China — With the exception of one judoka who was left at home due to illness, all 72 national para athletes who will see action in the 4th Hangzhou Asian Para Games are already accounted for, chief of mission Ral Rosario said.
“We had one judoka who got sick and was unable to make it here, but other than that all of the other 72 athletes are here,” said Rosario as he met the second batch of the national contingent on Tuesday afternoon at the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport here.
Composed of 57 athletes and officials, among who arrived were para athletes from archery, judo, powerlifting and table tennis bannered by multi-titled swimmer Ernie Gawilan and veteran power lifter Adeline Dumapong.
Also arriving late Monday from Jakarta was chess player Jasper Rom, who powered the national chessers in the men’s team standard and rapid events in the Indonesian capital five years ago.
A former national swimming standout, Rosario said except for the cool weather in the evening as autumn sets in “all our athletes are adjusting quite well and settling in as they gear for their respective events” in the trip supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.
He also praised the Hangzhou Asian Para Games organizers “for being very helpful and accommodating in meeting our needs and requests,” adding that Philippine Paralympic Committee president Mike Barredo was scheduled to arrive Thursday from Manila.
Scheduled on Friday is the welcome ceremony at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games Village for all of the participants in this prestigious continental competition.
With 57 athletes competing in 10 sports, the Philippines brought home 10 gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals to wind up 11th in the overall standings in the previous edition of this continental showcase.
Barredo said tying, if not surpassing, that haul is the goal here aside from the extra motivation of excelling since some sports such as athletics, swimming, power lifting and archery also serve as ranking or qualifying meets for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.