The Philippine contingent bound for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics has been hit by news that several of its members have tested positive for COVID-19, the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) announced on Sunday (22 August).
"It is unfortunate for us to inform the public that some officials, coaches, and a para-athlete of our Philippine delegation bound for Tokyo to participate in the 2020 Paralympic Games have tested positive for COVID-19," PPC president Michael Barredo said in a media statement.
In accordance to healthy and safety protocols, the members who tested positive are already in isolation.
PPC did not disclose the name of the para-athlete who contracted the coronavirus, but the fact now stands that the Tokyo-bound athlete contingent is down to five representatives.
The six para-athletes who originally qualified for Tokyo are: swimmers Ernie Gawilan and Gary Bejino, powerlifter Achelle Guion, discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda, wheelchair racer Jerrol Mangliwan, and taekwondo exponent Allain Ganapin.
Still, Barredo remains optimistic that Team Philippines will be able to find success in Japan when the Paralympics swings into action from Tuesday to 5 September.
"Despite this setback, we are confident our athletes will give their best in pursuit of their Paralympic dreams and to bring honour and glory to our country," he said.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.