PINOY PRIDE in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics: 6 Athletes to Compete for our Flag

Meet our 6 Pinoy Paralympians who qualified to represent the Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics! Talaga namang nakaka-proud sila ngayon pa lang, kahit na magsisimula pa lamang ang Tokyo Paralympics sa August 24, 2021.

2020 Tokyo Paralympics - 6 Pilipino Athletes
In the photo from left to right: Ernie Gawilan, Jeanette Aceveda, Jerrold Mangliwan, Gary Bejino, Achelle Guion, and Allain Ganapin. Image from GMA Network News
Tokyo Paralympics 2020

May hang-over ka pa ba sa adrenalin rush mula sa mga naiuwing medalya ng ating mga Pinoy athletes mula sa Tokyo Olympics? Well, ito pa ang pasunod. Let’s all support our Paralympians. The games will be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021.

Read: Astonishing Many Firsts For Team Philippines In Tokyo 2020 Olympics –

(The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, like the Summer Olympics, has also been delayed due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It will be held largely behind closed doors with no public spectators permitted due to a state of emergency in the Tokyo region.

There will be 540 events in 22 sports in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. There will be a total of 3,628 athletes from 135 participating countries. In the 22 sports that are included in the games, we will have 6 Pinoy Athletes who will compete in 4 events.

Read: 19 Fearless Filipino Athletes To Compete In The 2020 Tokyo Olympics –

What is the Summer Paralympics?

Also known as the “Games of the Paralympiad,” this is an international multi-sport event exclusive for athletes with physical disabilities. Gaya ng Summer Olympics, ito rin ay ginaganap tuwing apat na taon. It was first held in Rome, Italy, in 1960 and was first limited to athletes who are wheelchair-bound.

Today, this has expanded to include other athletes who may fall under one of 10 disability categories. The International Paralympic Committee identified 10 different sport classes for athletes with physical impairment. The lower the number, the more severe the activity limitation.

  • Impaired Muscle Power
  • Impaired Passive Range of Movement
  • Limb Deficiency
  • Leg Length Difference
  • Short Stature
  • Hypertonia
  • Ataxia
  • Athetosis
  • Vision Impairment, or
  • Intellectual Impairment

This year, the games will be held in Tokyo, Japan. This is the 2nd time that Tokyo will host the Paralympics.

Cheers to our 6 Pinoy Paralympians in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics

Ernie Gawilan (Swimming)

Classification: S7, SB7, SM7

Tokyo Paralympics - Ernie Gawilan
Gawilan, posing with his 3 gold medals and 2 silver medals from the 2018 Asian Para Games (

Ernie Gawilan, with congenital limb deficiencies, was originally from Davao City. He was born with underdeveloped extremities, resulting in him lacking both legs and an underdeveloped left limb. He was first scouted by swimming coach Mark Jude Corpuz when Corpuz saw him struggling to swim. With training and a lot of hard work, he started to win in local competitions and was later included in the PWD national team. He trains under National Para-Swimming Team Coaches Tony Ong and Ral Rosario.

Gawilan has joined numerous tournaments in India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, and Singapore; and has won at least 15 international medals by November 2014. He is also one of our most decorated para-athletes, winning for the Philippines the first gold medals (he won 3 golds and 2 silvers) from the 2018 Asian Para Games and a silver medal from the 2019 World Para Games.

Indeed, some say that he has no legs but all heart, like anybody who witnessed his great feat in the swimming arena.

Gawilan will compete in 3 events: Men’s 200 m individual medley, Men’s 400 m freestyle, and Men’s 100 m breaststroke. He will be our flag bearer during the closing ceremonies of the Tokyo Paralympics.

Gary Bejino (Swimming)

Classification: S6, SB6, SM6

Gary Bejino - Tokyo Paralympics
Bejino at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games (

Gary Bejino has an acquired limb deficiency. He had one leg and one arm amputated after having suffered an electrical shock at the age of 7. He first started swimming

Bejino has won a gold medal at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur ASEAN gold medalist and bagged a silver and two bronze medals at the 2018 Asian Para Games. Gawilan recently claimed a bronze medal in the men’s 400m freestyle S7 during the Internationale Deutsche Meisterschaften Berlin 2021 World Para Swimming Series in Germany.

Para-swimmer Gary Bejino makes his way to Tokyo 2020 Paralympics to represent the country after earning a bipartite slot in para-swimming. He will compete in 4 events: Men’s 200 m individual medley, Men’s 100 m breaststroke, Men’s 50 m butterfly, and Men’s 400 m freestyle.

Allain Ganapin (Taekwondo)

Classification: K44

Allain Ganapin - 2020 Tokyo Paralympics
Photo from the Philippine Sports Commission

This Filipino jin is from Marikina City. He went through life-saving surgery that resulted in the amputation of his right arm up to the elbow.

Ganapin took home the bronze in the Asian Taekwondo Paralympic Qualification Tournament. This win, however, did not get him a direct ticket to the Tokyo Paralympics. Para-taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin became the latest Filipino to compete in Taekwondo in Paralympics via a bi-partite invitation from organizers.

Making it even more historical, this is the sport’s debut in the Paralympics. Taekwondo will be included in the medal events in the Paralympic Games for the first time. Ganapin will compete in the Men’s –75 kg Taekwondo event.

Jerrold Mangliwan (Athletics)

Classification: T52

Jerrold Mangliwan - Tokyo Paralympics
Image from

Jerrold Mangliwan started wheelchair racing in 2009. He has acquired impaired muscle power due to paraplegia as the result of the effects of polio, which he was diagnosed with at age two.

He made the cut for the Tokyo Paralympics after surpassing the Paralympic standard of one minute and 3.27 seconds in the 400-meter T52 wheelchair race of the 2021 World Para Athletics Grand Prix. He won gold medals at the 100m and 200m T52 race and silver in the 400m T52 race in the 2015 ASEAN Para Games.

He will compete in wheelchair racing after he qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics via bipartite commission invitations.

Jeanette Aceveda (Athletics)

Classification: T11, F11

Jeanette Aceveda - Tokyo Paralympics
Image from

Jeanette Aceveda, a Marikina City local, was born with a visual impairment. She had very low visual acuity that has developed to even more blurry vision over time. She will compete for the Philippines as a discus thrower in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. She is one of the pioneering figures in Philippine para-sports as she has been part of the national team since 1997.

In 2010, Aceveda was also hit by a motorcycle, which left her in crutches. Though advised to take time for full recovery, she still competed in the Jakarta ASEAN Para Games in 2011. Later on, in the 2014 ASEAN Para Games in Myanmar, she clinched two golds in the discus throw and shot put events and a bronze in the javelin throw.

This 50-year-old para-athlete will prove us proud as she qualified through bipartite commission invitations to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics in the women’s F11 discus throw.

Achelle Guion (Powerlifting)

Achelle Guion - Tokyo Paralympics
Image from PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) Facebook Page.

Achelle Guion is the last Filipino to qualify for this year’s Paralympics after the World Para Powerlifting approved her bipartite invitation.  She started her powerlifting career in 2003. The effects of polio caused her acquired impairment.

Guion previously competed in the 2012 London Paralympics. She has brought home three silver medals in three consecutive Asian Para Games—2010 in Guangzhou, China, 2014 in Incheon, South Korea, and 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she competed in the 45kg division.

She will compete in the same event – Women’s 45kg Powerlifting in the Tokyo Paralympics.

Read: Bulakenya Golfers Saso And Pagdanganan Qualify For Tokyo Olympics –


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