HANGZHOU – The national para chess team opened their campaign in the 4th Hangzhou Asian Para Games on a promising note Monday as the men’s and women’s physically impaired (PI) chessers won all of their three matches in the first round of the standard events.
Competing at the Hangzhou Qi-Yuan Chess Hall, FIDE Master Sander Severino led the way in beating Mongolia’s Sundui Sonom, while Henry Roger Lopez and Jasper Rom beat Thailand’s Padu Srikpadee and Yoo Khoonme, respectively.
Cheyzer Cristal Mendoza bannered the women’s squad in outplaying Indonesia’s Yuni, Cheryl Angot beat Kyrgyzstan’s Dariaa Kuraidanarova and Jean Lee-Nacita topped China’s Zhang Yue on the distaff side.
On the other hand, the players in the men’s B1 and B2 and women’s B1 posted 2-1 win-loss records in their opening round matches in the stint supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Early in the morning, Tokyo Paralympic veteran Gary Bejino advanced to the finals of the men’s 100-meter S6 Monday after winding up fourth overall among the eight qualifiers in clocking one minute and 12.61 seconds at the Hangzhou Olympic Center Aquatic Arena.
A double gold medalist in the last Cambodia ASEAN Para Games, Bejino finished a close second in the first heat behind China’s Tang Qian (1:12.6) and was No. 4 behind Tang and two other hometown bets, Luo Jinbiao (1:09.80) and Jia Hongguang (1:12.11), who were 1-2, respectively.
The Pinoy tanker, who lost right arm and left leg after being electrocuted at the age of seven, will be racing in lane 4 in the finals of the event scheduled at 7:20 p.m. preceding the men’s 200-meter individual medley S7 finals featuring compatriot and defending champion Ernie Gawilan.
Likewise appearing after Gawilan’s race 200-meter is Edwin Villanueva, who went straight to the 200-meter individual SM8 finals.
In athletics, Jesebel Tordecilla seemed awestruck in her Asian Para Games debut and lacked the proper warmup, winding up 10th and last in the women’s javelin throw F56 finals with a heave of 12.88 meters on her fifth attempt at the HSC Stadium.
“Di pa ako nakapag-warmup tapos nakita ko na lang paglabas sa dugout nandun na yung throwing chair ko. Di pa nakapag-iinit wala pa yung adrenaline ko. Bitin po (I hadn’t warmed up yet, then I saw my throwing when I came out of the dugout, my throwing chair is already there. I haven’t warmed up yet, my adrenaline isn’t there yet. Not ready yet),” Tordecilla, a Cambodia ASEAN Para Games silver medalist, said.
Bowing out early in his event was swimmer Muhaimin Ulag, who finished in the second heat of the men’s 100-meter breaststroke SB9 event in 1:24.25.
Meanwhile, the Asian Paralympic Committee announced that it has commissioned a new anthem which will now be used at future Asian Para Games and Asian Youth Para Games.
The anthem was composed by Indonesia’s Natalia Sutrisno Tjahja, who first worked with the AsPC at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games.
It will be used when the Asian Paralympic flag is raised and lowered during the opening and closing ceremonies at the regional Games.
AsPC President Majid Rashed said: “I am delighted that we have a new anthem for use in our Games. The Asian Para Games is the largest para-sport event in the world after the Paralympic Games and it is fitting therefore that it has its own anthem. It’s always emotional when the Asian Paralympic flag is raised, tomorrow will be even more so as our new anthem is played.” (PSC media pool)