Asusano shines, grabs 2nd gold

SURAKARTA, Indonesia — After a rush of eight golds overnight, Filipino para-athletes struggled Wednesday, mustering a lone gold courtesy of thrower Cendy Asusano in the women’s shot put F54 event of the 11th ASEAN Para Games at the Manahan Stadium here.

Disqualified in the discus throw last Tuesday due to a loose strap on the throwing chair, Asusano came back strong and won the gold with a new personal best of 5.65 meters on her fourth try, surpassing her old mark of 5.50 meters in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition of the sportsfest.

It was the Pasig-based athlete’s second mint out of three events after handily winning the javelin throw in opening day of action of the 11-nation showcase for the best para-athletes in the region.

“I made up for my DQ (disqualification) yesterday. I just tried my best to forget so I won’t get stressed,” said Asusano, who had swept all of her three events in the Malaysian capital five years ago.

Over at the Jatadiri Sports Complex in Semarang, swimmers Roland Sabido and Arnel Aba added silver and bronze medals, respectively, to the country’s collection in the stint backed by the Philippine Sports Commission.

Sabido was second in the men’s 100-meter backstroke S9 event in one minute, 15.820 seconds while Aba bagged the bronze medal in the men’s 100-meter butterfly stroke S9 event in 1:23.40.

But the Filipino swimmers hope to recover from their anemic showing today with 2017 Malaysian ASEAN Para Games gold medalist Gary Bejino, veteran Ernie Gawilan and Angel Otom expected to vie for gold Thursday.

Contributing bronze medals in athletics were King James Reyes and Andy Avellana in the men’s 1,500-meter T46 race and men’s high jump T42/T63 event, respectively.

Table tennis likewise delivered a bronze through the Class 10 mixed doubles tandem of Pablo Catalan Jr. and Minnie Cadag, who took a 6-11, 8-11, 4-11 loss to Indonesia’s Komet Akbar and Aminah in the semifinals.

Overnight, judo also gave the country its first medal in the sport courtesy of Deterson Onas in the men’s J1-60 kg class.

The Philippine men’s wheelchair basketball squad were set to play a pivotal preliminary match in the afternoon against host Indonesia in the 5×5 event at the GOR Sritex Arena, with the winner setting up a showdown for the gold against pacesetting Thailand.

The charges of Vernon Perea kicked off their campaign in the event with a 26-6 rout of the Cambodians two days ago but fell 9-30 to the Thais last Tuesday.

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