KUALA LUMPUR — The 9th ASEAN Para Games ended Saturday (Sept. 23) with fiery and heart touching finale and official handover to 2019 host, Philippines.
Declaring the 9th ASEAN Para Games closed, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia YB Dato Seri Zahid Hamidi said: “I declare the Games closed.”Indonesia finished top of the medal table, with 251 medals 126-75-50 (gold, silver, bronze).
Host Malaysia cemented second place with a tally of 90-85-83; Thailand placed third 68-73-95; Vietnam in fourth with 40-61-56; Myanmar sixth with 11-15-16; Singapore settled for 7th place with 9-18-22; Brunei finished 8th with 2-6-6; Timor Leste in ranked 9th with 2-0-1; Cambodia on 10th spot with 0-5-5; and Lao PDR 0-4-4.
Filipino para athletes, determination and grit tallied 20-20-26 (gold-silver-bronze) for a total of 66 medals to place 5th among the 11 ASEAN countries that participated in the weeklong sports conclave.
“To athletes you are all winners”
“For the past one week, we have witnessed many inspiring moments. Great action. great show of courage. Great display of grit and determination,” said May Gen. Osoth Bhavilai, president of ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF), who expressed his gratitude to the Malaysian Government organizing committee, sports officials and federations “for making this a great games.
“ The APSF official gave special mention to the 4,000 volunteers, spectators and fans for the “great show of support.”
“Congratulations to Indonesia for winning the Games. To athletes, you are all winners. Well done.”
“In two years, we all meet once again in the Philippines. Until then, I wish you all the best,” said Bhavilai.
In recognition of their fortitude and the will to fight, the participating para athletes were seated around the main arena, putting them at the heart of the action.
“Nothing is impossible”
“Dear athletes, you have shown that nothing is impossible. That life is about rising above yourself, and not how others perceive of you. You have redefined the boundaries of possibility,” said SM Nasarudin SM Nasimudin, president of Paralympic Council of Malaysia.
“You have lifted the para-meters of limitation. Each of you will have your special story to tell. So we salute you!” he said.
“The past week we have shared some precious moments together, 1,421 athletes from 11 ASEAN nations competed in 368 sporting events, and new friendships were forged, in true ASEAN spirit. This spirit of togetherness and sportsmanship reflected the theme of the KL2017 Games ‘Rising Together’,” he added.
Michael Barredo, president of the Philippine Paralympic Commitee-National Sports Association for the Differently-Abled, received the ASEAN Para Sports Federation flag from Maj. Bhavali, president of APSF.
The handover was witnessed by Commissioner Arnold Agustin of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), and Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Charles C. Jose.
The singing of Lupang Hinirang marked the handover followed by a video presentation that depicted people, places and culture of the Philippines.
Special presentations The closing program were filled with heart and spectacular moments and dazzling fireworks and presentations — a tribute to all especially the athletes.
The Heart of the Para Games — the volunteers, the very heart of the games, are presented with a video of their special relationship with the athletes and their hard work throughout KL2017.
“Sama Sama”, contemporary dance rooted in traditional Malaysian dance forms. The title “sama sama” literally “same same”, reﬂects the theme of “We Are One” and Malaysia’s unity as a country.
“Sama sama” expressed Malaysia’s gratitude and the honor to host the 9th ASEAN Para Games.
“The Extinguishing of the Flame — We bring KL2017” to a close with a tribute to the bonds between athletes and their support systems, and glorious moments of their achievements, in a simple and elegant farewell.
A concert by Malaysian-born, internationally-renowned superstar, Yuna brought cheers to thousand of spectators who trooped to the ultra-modern National Stadium as early as six in the evening.
The Philippines’ performance in the meet also dubbed “KL2017 Para Games” was marked with improvement from its 7th place 16-17-26 (gold-silver-bronze) harvest in the 2015 games in Singapore.
It participated in 12 out of the 16 sports disciplines lined up by host Malaysia. Out of the 12 sports, nine produced medals except goalball, boccia and para badminton.
Ma. Cielo Dimain Honasan, Cendy Asusano and Sander Severino captured three golds in their respective events to highlight the Philippines’ 20 gold medals.
First-timer, Honasan,15, of Santiago, Botolan, Zambales, made her mark in the women’s sprint events of T44 category- ruled the 100meter, 200m and 400m, respectively, with a class.
While field event specialist Asusano reigned supreme in the women’s F54 events of shot and discuss throw and in the javelin throw F54/56.
Prudencia “Daisy”Panaligan, a veteran of the games, also powered her team with a double — women’s 200m T53/T54 and 100 T52/53/54.
Thus, Honasan, Asusano and Panaligan powered Philippines’ 9-5-6 (g-s-b).
Severino sparkled with three golds in chess to punctuate his team’s 4-3-6 (g-s-b) medal haul.
Severino ruled the men’s individual and team standard P1, respectively, and the men’s team rapid event.
Veteran para swimmer Gary Bejino established set a new games record in men’s 400 freestyle S7 to power his team’s 3-3-5 output.
The other six sports disciplines that Philippines got some medals are in — para cycling 1-4-1; tenpin bowling 1-3-3; para table tennis 1-1-2; para archery 0-1-0; and wheelchair basketball 0-0-2.
Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta, of Kiangan, Ifugao, the first Filipino to win a Paralympic medal (2000 Summer Paralympics), continued to show her top form and dominated the women’s over 86.00 kg-snatch). PNA-northboundasia.com