Ernie Gawilan had been polishing his winning act for the coming Asean Para Games for quite some time.
But the multiawarded swimmer will have to wait to flaunt his new form on the pool after the Asean Para Sports Federation (APSF) agreed with the Philippine Sports Commission to postpone the Games indefinitely.
“As for me, I will just continue training to improve my clocking,’’ said Gawilan in Filipino, a seven-time gold winner in the Asean Para Games and triple gold performer in the Asian Para Games.
Philippine Paralympic Committee president Michael Barredo, who also sits as chair of the APSF board of governors, announced the postponement on Tuesday with no fixed timetable yet. Everything will depend on how the outbreak of the novel coronavirus will play out.
“We want to hold the Games as much as we want to, but the threat [of the coronavirus] is something beyond our control,’’ said Barredo, who discussed the matter with top APSF officials in Thailand during the weekend.
Maj. Gen. Osoth Bhavilai, secretary of the APSF board of governors, said the APSF executive committee members agreed to defer the Games so as not to compromise the physical and emotional well-being of all participating para athletes, officials and staff.
Over 2,000 para athletes from 11 countries were expected to see action in 16 regular sports and one demonstration event set in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, and Subic. Team Philippines had enlisted 250 athletes for the event.
New Clark City has been locked down as the athletes’ village inside the facility was designated by the government as a quarantine area for Filipino workers who arrived from Wuhan, China—the epicenter of the virus outbreak.
The 10th Asean Para Games was scheduled on March 20 to 28. The new schedule will be depending on when the virus outbreak is finally under control. The Philippines will notify Asean member countries of the new schedule at least 60 days before the opening date.
Date: February 12, 2020 | By: June Navarro | Newspaper: Inquirer | Source: https://sports.inquirer.net/385513/para-games-suspended-indefinitely-ph-looking-at-may-or-september-schedule