Big incentives up for Asian Para Games medalists

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino medalists in the third Asian Para Games slated Oct. 8-18 in Jakarta will receive P1 million for a gold, P500,000 for a silver and P200,000 for a bronze as incentives.

Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez announced the incentive package over the weekend as he wished the 57-member national team contingent good luck.

“We’re hopeful as well as proud of our team. I wish them the best of luck,” said Ramirez.

The Phl, headed by chef de mission Francis Carlos Diaz, is hoping to improve on a five-silver, five-bronze haul in Incheon, South Korea four years ago. The team also hopes to draw inspiration from the country’s four-gold, two-silver and 15-bronze effort in the recent Asian Games.

The Filipinos placed fifth in the ninth ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last year that saw them bag 20 golds, 20 silvers and 24 bronzes, the most the Phl has won in the biennial event in a long while.

Nine of them came in athletics where teenage sprint phenom Cielo Honasan and thrower Cendy Asusano emerged triple-double gold winners.

Honasan, 17, completed a sprint treble by reigning supreme in the 100m, 200m and 400m for T44/46 athletes while the 27-year-old, wheelchair-bound Asusano topped shot put, discus throw and javelin for F54/55.

Honasan, however, will not be joining the team for personal reasons.

Paralympics bronze medalist Josephine Medina and powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta, a silver medalist in Incheon, will also spearhead the squad.

The Phl has entered in swimming (five), archery (two), athletics (nine), badminton (three), chess (12), cycling (two), judo (three), powerlifting (five), table tennis (six) and tenpin bowling (10).