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Tanker Angel Otom emerges as Philippines’ first triple gold winner

PHNOM PENH — Filipina tanker Angel Otom was born with an upper limb deficiency that went with the tenacity of a diamond, courage of a lion and killer instinct of a shark.

It was in full, majestic display yesterday as she reigned supreme in the 50-meter butterfly S5 to emerge the Philippines’ first triple-gold medalist in the 12th ASEAN Para Games at the Morodok Aquatics Center here.

The 19-year-old Olongapo City dynamo clocked 47.73 seconds to not only snare the mint but also shatter the meet record of 48.07 she herself set last year in Surakarta, Indonesia where she had a masterful three-gold harvest.

It was made more impressive that the University of the Philippines Sports Science student, who was accompanied by her parents freelance tattoo artist Marlou and high school teacher Mila, considered this particular event as her least favorite.

Giggly Ms. Otom, whose other wins came in the 50m backstroke Sunday and 200m individual medley Tuesday.

Grizzled veteran Ernie Gawilan overcame a slow start in blistering through his second gold in the 200m IM SM7 gold in 2:50.29 ahead of the Vietnamese duo of Hoang Nha Nguyen (2:56.96) and Quang Thoai Han (SM7).

The 32-year-old, two-time Paralympian earlier settled for the silver in the 50m butterfly that was topped by Singapore’s Wei Soong Toh.

Also striking gold was Evaristo Carbonel in the men’s discus throw F11 where he heaved a 25.67m at the rain-drenched Morodok Techo National Stadium.

It was his second mint after his javelin conquest Tuesday.

At the Royal University, Cheyzer Mendoza downed Indonesia’s Nasib Farta Simanja in the fifth and penultimate round and virtually clinched the women’s individual standard PI gold in chess.

With a round to go, the 31-year-old lawyer by profession, who topped the individual rapid event Sunday, remained perfect with five points and should seal his second mint regardless of her sixth-round result.

Also in gold contention were double-gold rapid winner Darry Bernardo in men’s B2B3 and Francis Ching in the men’s B1.

In table tennis, Bendicto Gaela and Linard Sultan copped the men’s doubles class 9 silver.

While Ms. Otom succeeded in her quest, Cendy Asusano failed in her bid for a golden treble in the throwing events in the F54 class after she settled for the discus throw bronze.

In E-sports, a demonstration event, the country’s Ashly Josh Paghubasan, Jasper Lorenz Ambat, Joshua Gatela Detera, Marvin Angelo Ignacio Ranon and Mike Ace Chester Canoza Gonzales routed the Malaysians, 3-0, to rule Mobile Legends. — Joey Villar

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