Ariel Alegarbes wins PH team's first gold in 2021 Asian Para Youth Games

Photo from PHILSPADA Facebook page

Filipino tanker Ariel Alegarbes splashed his way to the country’s first gold medal in the Asian Youth Paralympic Games in Bahrain Friday, Dec. 3.

Alegarbes clocked 1 minute and 1.96 seconds to capture the gold in the 100-meter butterfly S14 multiclass for boys 17-18 years old, edging Japanese Rei Kagose and Thai W. In-Choo.

Kagose timed 1:02.74 for the silver while In-Choo posted 1:06.93 for the bronze.

And it could be the first of many for the proud Negrense, whose trip was being sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), as he plunges back into action in the 100m backstroke, 200m individual medley and 100m breaststroke in the coming days.

“He’s our future in Philippine para sports,” said national swim team coach Tony Ong referring to Alegarbes.

Alegarbes, who has intellectual impairment, wasn’t unfamiliar with winning on a big stage as he was also a silver medalist when the Palarong Pambansa was last staged in Davao City two years ago.

The country is also pinning its hopes to Angel Mae Otom, who was scheduled to compete in the girls’ 50m butterfly, 50m and 100m freestyle and 50m back with hopes of also striking gold.