Chess ace to lead Philippines in ASEAN Para Games
KUALA LUMPUR – The fancied chessers, a battle-scarred lady lifter and a Paralympics table tennis bronze medalist will spearhead the Philippines’ campaign in the ninth ASEAN Para Games which starts Sunday at Bukut Jalil National Sports Complex here.
Partially blind Minandro Ridor, the most bemedalled Filipino with four golds in chess in the 2015 Para Games in Singapore, will be the country’s flag-bearer in the opener of the week-long meet among 11 participating Southeast Asian nations.
Ridor is out to duplicate his feat, including a sweep of his events for visually impaired 2 division (partial blindness) along with wheelchair-bound Sander Severino, a FIDE Master, and Henry Lopez as the James Infiesto and Ruel Abelgas-mentored chess team guns for seven gold medals.
The 43-year-old Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta, who won the Phl its first medal in the Paralympics with a powerlifting bronze in Sydney 17 years ago, hopes to nail another one in what could be her final Para Games stint.
“I was told by my coaches that I still have four or five years left before I could retire,” said Dumapong-Ancheta, who has won four ASEAN golds and two silvers and two more AsEan Para Games silver medals.
Josephine Medina, 47, is also tipped to contend following his bronze medal feat in table tennis in last year’s Rio Paralympics.
She has won six ASEAN mints, including four in the 2008 edition in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
The Phl delegation arrived here in two batches yesterday, all ready to compete, including nine from athletics and seven in badminton.
The team also includes three in boccia, 17 in chess, three in cycling, six in goal ball, five in powerlifting, nine in table tennis, 10 in swimming, 15 in tenpin bowling and 12 in wheelchair basketball.
The Phl is headed by chef de mission Ral Rosario, who flew in Tuesday to attend the delegation head meeting and will be followed by Phl Sports commissioner Arnold Agustin and Mike Barredo, the president of the newly formed Phl Paralympic Committee.
Malaysia has the most number of athletes with 331 followed by Thailand (291), Indonesia (192), Vietnam (150) and Myanmar (120). The Phl has 98.
The other participants are Singapore (92), Cambodia (70), Laos (50), Brunei (27) and East Timor (14).