Michael Barredo

NAGTAMO ng ‘kabiguan’ ang Team Philippines na sasabak sa Tokyo Para Games hindi pa man nagsisimula ang aksiyon sa quadrennial Games.

Sa opisyal na pahayag ni Michael Barredo, pangulo ng Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) nitong Linggo, nagpositibo sa COVID-19 ang ilang opisyal at coaches at isang para athlete sa isinagawang test bago tumulak ang delegasyon kahapon patungong Haneda.

Nakatakda ang Paralympics sa Agosto 24 hanggang Setyembre 5.

“It is unfortunate for us to inform the public that some officials, coaches and a para athlete of our Philippine delegation bound for Tokyo to participate in the 2020 Paralympic Games have tested positive for COVID-19. They are currently isolated pursuant to health protocols to contain the virus and to aid them in their recovery,” pahayag ni Barredo.

“Despite this setback, we are confident that our athletes will give their best in the pursuit of their Paralympic dreams and to bring honor and glory to our country,” aniya.

Kabuuang anim na Para athletes ang kwalipikado sa Tokyo Para Games na kinabibilangan nina swimmers Ernie Galiwan at Gary Bejino, taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin, Achelle Guion sa powerlifting, at Janette Aceveda at  Jerrold Mangliwan – ang flag bearer –  sa athletics. Si Francis Carlos Diaz, professor sa University of the Philippines, ang chef de mission ng delegasyon.

Nitong Huwebes, personal na pinangunahan ni Pangulong Duterte ang virtual send-off ng delegasyon. Bago ito, ipinag-utos ng Pangulo sa Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) na dagdagan ng P100,000 ang allowances ng mga atleta bago umalis patungong Tokyo.

“Dito sila nag-positive. Hindi na sila nakasama sa delegation bound for Japan. The team are already now at Haneda. The test was part of the protocol guidelines of the organizing committee and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC),” ayon sa text message ng media officer ng delegasyon.

Wala pang opisyal na pahayag ang PSC hinggil sa naturang kaganapan. Nauna nang ipinahayag ni PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez  ang suporta sa delegasyon.

“Enjoy the experience and have fun,” aniya.

Nagbigay rin ng kanilangg pagbati at suporta sina Sen. Bong Go, chair ng Senate Committee on Sports, at  Rep. Mike Dy, chair ng House Committee on Youth and Sports.

“Apart from representing the country there, the possibility of being able to change their lives if they win a medal is something at the back of their mind. Of course, they know it is output-based. They have to win first. But at least, it is there for them,”  naunang pahayag ni Diaz sa PSA Forum.   EDWIN ROLLON


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