March 22, 2018, 8:02 am
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8-gold haul boosts Pinoys to fifth overall

KUALA LUMPUR. – FIDE Master Sander Severino ruled the individual side in standard play and led a three-gold medal harvest in chess as the Philippines came up with eight gold medals Wednesday and climbed to fifth overall in the ninth Asean Para Games at Hall 3 of the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Center here.

Severino, 32, who had muscular dystrophy when he was a kid, drew his sixth and final round match with Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Tuan and finished with 5.5 points, half a point ahead of fellow FIDE Master Maksum Firdaus of Indonesia, who beat countryman Azhar Panjaitan to pluck the silver.

Along with the 3.5 points of Henry Lopez, who halved the point with Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Quan, the Philippines amassed 9 points to clinch the team gold. Indonesians Firdaus and Sutikno, who beat Filipino Felix Aguilera to bag the individual bronze, also had 9 points but the gold medal win of Severino made the difference in the tiebreak.

The trio of Menandro Redor, Arman Subastre and Israel Peligro delivered the third gold in chess, coming up with 9.5 points to beat Indonesia. 

Severino, a native of Silay City, Negros Occidental, guns for two more gold medals in the two-day rapid chess event that gets going Thursday.

“I hope we I could give our country more gold medals because everything we do here is for our countrymen,” said Severino, who already matched his two-gold haul in Singapore in 2015.

Over at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Cielo Honasan won the century dash gold in 13.96 to complete a sprint double. She topped the 200m Monday night.

Honasan, a 15-year-old polio victim who runs with a shorter right left leg, shoots for her third gold when she competes in the 400m Thursday.

Prudencia Panaligan also came through with a gold in the 100m for T52/53/54 with a clocking of 18.32, edging Thai Chainet Srithong (18.67) and Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Xuan Anh (18.78).

Overall, the Philippines has won 11 gold medals on top of 12 silvers and 11 bronzes and climbed from seventh the day before to fifth overall.

Indonesia remained on top with a 57-39-28 (gold-silver-bronze) collection while host Malaysia was at No. 2 with a 48-41-35 haul.

Ernie Gawilan seized the 400m free gold for S8 and went for another one in 100m butterfly but ended up settling for a silver.

Gawilan, 26, was victorious in the 400m free with a clocking of 4:57.49, beating Vietnam’s Dag Van Cong (5:56.09) and Thailand’s Phiphatphong Sianglam (5:59.94) but was no match to Malaysian Tien Yu James Wong’s 1:12.94 in the 100m fly where the former checked in a 1:19.86.

Gary Bejino ended a golden wait after two uneventful first two days for the Filipinos at the pool as he delivered the country’s first swimming gold in the 400m freestyle for S7 in 5:33.81, almost half a minute ahead of eventual silver medallist Kaweewat Sittichaiphonniti (6:02.26).

Roland Sabido contributed a silver in the 400m free for S9 in 5:15.66 behind winner Jendi Pangabean of Indonesia, who submitted 4:58.35.

Over at the Dataran Putrajaya track, Arthus Bucay copped cycling’s first gold by topping the men’s individual time trial for C5 with a time of 17:44.186, besting Malaysia’s Zuhairie Bin Ahmad Tarmzi and Indonesia’s Sufyan Saori, who took the silver and bronze in 19:11.953 and 19:38.150, respectively.

Bucay, a 36-year-old Marikina-based Paralympian, failed in his bid to win the mint a couple of times as he settled for a pair of silvers in the one-kilometer track and 4000 individual pursuit entering yesterday’s event.

He finally hit the jackpot on this one.
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