July 16, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian

Cordillera’s own para archer Agustina Bantiloc is on her way to the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games after qualifying during the recent Bipartite Commission Invitation on June 8.

Bantiloc has reached the minimum qualification standard during the qualifying event, earning her a slot to the Paralympics according to the Philippine Sports Commission.

BOUND FOR PARIS GAMES — With her wealth of experience, bemedalled para-archer Agustina Bantiloc of Baguio City has qualified for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games during the recent Bipartite Commission Invitation on June 8. She is the first Filipino para-archer to qualify for the international event set on Aug. 28 to Sept. 8 in France. — PSC Photo

She is the first Filipino para-archer who qualified for the counterpart event of the Summer Olympics for athletes with disability, which is set on Aug. 28 to Sept. 8. 

She was part of the historic duo who claimed the country’s first podium finish in the compound open mixed category of the Para Archery Olympic Qualifiers, snatching the bronze medal from their South Korean counterparts in Thailand last year.

Bantiloc, who hails from Baguio City, is the fourth Filipino to qualify for the Paris Paralympics after swimmers Ernie Gawilan and Angel Otom, and Allain Ganapin for taekwondo.

In the previous Paralympics in Tokyo, the Philippine team consisted of Ganapin, Gawilan, swimmer Gary Bejino, wheelchair athlete Jerrold Mangliwan, powerlifter Achelle Guion, and discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda, but failed to secure medals.

The Paralympic Games is a major international sports competition for athletes with disabilities. Comparable to the Olympic Games, the Paralympics are split into Winter Games and Summer Games, which alternately occur every two years.

The Paralympics will see action from more than 4,000 athletes from around the world competing in 549 medal events.

The first Paralympic summer Games in the French capital will showcase 22 sports, including individual and team sports.  

The sports include: blind football, boccia, goalball, para-archery, para-athletics, para-badminton, para-canoe, para-cycling, para-equestrian, para-judo, para-powerlifting, para-rowing, para-swimming, para-table tennis, para-taekwondo, para-triathlon, para-shooting, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis.