May 22, 2018, 1:45 am
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World Championship-bound Medina shows ‘em

WORLD Paralympic Table Tennis Championship-bound Josephine Medina handily ruled the women’s T 7-8 table tennis event yesterday in Day 1 of the PSC-PHILSPADA National Paralympic Games at the Marikina Sports Center.

Medina, who learned of her qualification to the prestigious world tournament last February, was untouchable in sweeping all of her three matches in straight sets to retain her women’s singles crown in the meet organized by the Philippine Sports Association for Disabled Athletes and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.

A bronze medalist in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Medina began the day with an 11-2, 11-1, 11-1 whipping of Purificacion Mingarine in the competition also backed by the Marikina City government led by Mayor Marcelino Teodoro.

The 48-year-old native of Oas, Albay also routed Mary Joan Paz 11-1, 11-2, 11-2 and Derina Quitoriano 11-1, 11-1, 11-1 in bagging her first gold in the five-day games serving as national team tryouts for the Asian Paralympic Games in Indonesia in early October.

“It is a great honor and privilege for me to qualify for the worlds since this is what I was aspiring for four years ago,” said Medina, who carries the colors of host Marikina. “Parang Paralympic Games na rin ito since it is held only once every four years.”

The polio-stricken athlete said she clinched her spot in the worlds by bagging a bronze medal in the tough Thailand Open in the Thai province of Suphan Buri last October.

“Naka-bronze po ako duon; ‘yung gold and silver pareho from China,” recalled Medina, who will become the first Filipino disabled table tennis player to see action in the sixth edition of the World Para Table Tennis Championships set  Oct. 15 to 21 in Celje and Lasko, Slovenia.

Currently ranked No. 7 in the world, she will be among 12 players from all over the globe who will compete in the week-long championship almost immediately after participating in the Asian Paralympic Games in Indonesia in early October.

Medina’s campaign in the National Para Games is far from over as she is scheduled to compete in the team event for her adopted city of Marikina today.

Sharing the spotlight was Cebu’s Armand Dino, who copped two silver medals in the 2017 Asean Para Games in Malaysia. He swept the men’s T 46-47 100-meter and 400-meter runs in times of 11.28 seconds and 52.91 seconds, respectively.

Joining Dino in the list of winners were fellow national athletes Joel Balatucan of Quezon City, who topped the men’s F 55 shot put with a heave of 7.99 meters, and Bocaue, Bulacan’s Cindy Asusano, who ruled the women’s F 54 shot put with a throw of 5.39 meters.

Also making his mark in the field event was national wheelchair basketball team member Juanito Mingarine of Pangasinan who captured the gold medal in the F 54 men’s shot put with a throw of 6.78 meters.
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