All The Filipinos Competing in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics
ILLUSTRATOR RAPHAEL QUIASON
The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics has finally begun. Just a few weeks after the conclusion of the Philippines’ historic medal haul at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Filipino athletes will be competing to make the 2020 Paralympics just as memorable for the Philippines.
The Philippines initially planned to send six athletes to the Paralympics, however, powerlifter Achelle Guion tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the delegation’s departure, forcing the athlete to withdraw from the Paralympics. Now, only five athletes will be representing the Philippines.
Here are all the competing athletes:
Ernie Gawilan - Swimming
At 30 years old, Gawilan is the first Filipino to ever win a gold medal at the Asian Para Games. He accomplished this feat in 2018, just four years after he bagged three bronze medals at the 2014 Asian Para Games. Meanwhile, at the 2015 ASEAN Para Games, Gawilan won two gold medals and one silver medal.
The two-time Olympian was born without the lower part of both of his legs and with an undeveloped left arm.
Gawilan will be competing in the men’s 200-meter individual medley, men’s 400-meter freestyle, and men’s 100-meter breaststroke.
Gary Bejino - Swimming
Swimmer Gary Bejino is only 25 years old but already has a number of gold medals under his belt. He won gold medals in the ASEAN Para Games and silver and bronze at the 2018 Asian Para Games. This will be his Olympic debut.
Bejino, who has an acquired limb deficiency, was studying to become a special education teacher before making a career change to become a medaled Filipino para-athlete.
The young para-athlete will be competing in the men's 200-meter individual medley, men’s 100-meter backstroke, men’s 50-meter butterfly, and men’s 400-meter freestyle.
Jerrold Mangliwan - Athletics
Wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan is a polio survivor and now, a Paralympic athlete. Like Gawilan and Bejino, Mangliwan won gold medals at the 2015 ASEAN Para Games. He won gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter T52 races and a silver medal in the 400-meter T52 race. Like Gawilan, Mangliwan is a second-time Paralympian and served as the country’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony.
Mangliwan will be competing in the men’s 400-meter, men’s 1,500-meter, and men’s 100-meter track and road events.
Jeanette Aceveda - Athletics
Acevado is the country’s first visually impaired athlete at the Paralympics and has been a part of the national para team since the '90s. The veteran athlete won a silver medal in shotput at the 2015 ASEAN Para Games and two silvers in throwing at the 2005 ASEAN Para Games.
The well-rounded blind athlete will be competing in the women’s discus throw event at the Paralympics.
Allain Ganapin - Taekwando
Taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin is the first Filipino para-athlete in his sport to join the Paralympics. The one-armed jin is 23 years old, and recently won a bronze medal at the Asian Taekwondo Paralympic Qualification Tournament in Jordan. Ganapin, who is the youngest member of the Philippine delegation, will be making his Olympic debut in this year's games.
He will be competing in the men’s K44 under-75kg division in taekwondo.