Nine of the country’s top athletes with disabilities left the country Friday morning to represent the Philippines in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
The Filipino will be competing in four events: athletics, swimming, powerlifting and table tennis.
Four members of the Philippine delegation will join 1,100 athletes in athletics, the largest event in the Paralympics. They are Isidro Vildosola (1500-meter run), Roger Tapia (200-meter run), Andy Avellana (high jump) and Marites Burce (javelin throw).
Three Filipino athletes will participate in powerlifting: Adeline Ancheta (85 kg division), Achelle Guion (48 kg division) and Agustin Kitan (52 kg division).
Meanwhile, Josephine Medina will play in the table tennis event while Beariza Ma. Roble will compete in swimming.
“The competition must be very tough but I am very confident that they can break their personal bests,” athletics coach Joel Deriada told InterAKTV. “We hope we can bring home medals.”
Deriada, who supervises the training of the athletes, also welcomed the development of more competitive athletes with disabilities in the country. This year’s delegation is the biggest the Philippines has sent since first joining the quadrennial games in 2000.
The 2012 Paralympic Games in London, slated from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9, will be the 14th edition of the sporting event, which is held in parallel to the Summer Olympics and features athletes with disabilities.
An estimated 4,200 athletes from 166 countries will compete in 471 events in the 11-day event.