- Team Philippines won the bronze medal in table tennis at the 2016 Rio Paralympics
- The 46-year-old table tennis paddler Josephine Medina brought home the medal
- This is only the second medal the Philippines has won in the Paralympic Games history
The Philippines has bagged a bronze medal at the Rio Paralympics, courtesy of table tennis athlete Josephine Medina.
Medina won in the women’s singles class 8 division where she joined gold medalist Mao Jingdian from China and silver medalist Thu Kamkasimphou from France.
She beat Germany’s Aida Dahlen to earn a spot in the main draw.
The 46-year-old athlete who was afflicted by polio had previously represented the Philippines in the same sport in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London but ended up in fourth place. She also won the gold medal at the ASEAN Para Games held in Singapore in 2015.
With her win, she brought the country’s first medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games and its second one in history so far. The last time the country won a medal was when Adeline Dumapong won bronze at the 2000 Paralympics held in Sydney, Australia.
She also served as the country’s flag bearer during the opening ceremony for the Rio Paralympic Games.
“I have been praying to God that one day, the Philippines would win a medal. The last time in London, I came so close I finished in fourth place. Here, the competition is really tough, but when I beat Aida Dahlen and qualified for the main draw, for God nothing is impossible,” she said, as previously quoted by the Inquirer.
The Paralympian says she dedicates her win to her father, who passed away in 2004.
“My father was in the national team. I was sick as I was a polio victim and table tennis is my therapy. I used to compete with able-bodied athletes and qualified for the national team, but they told me you cannot be in the national team for the able-bodied as you are disabled. The rejection has become my inspiration and I train hard and I just want to prove that disability is not a hindrance in achieving your goal. It’s just an instrument in reaching success in your life. I dedicate this to my father. I didn’t have the chance to tell my papa that I was playing internationally. It is quite sad, but I know he believed in me. I know he is still near me,” she said.