Flag-bearer Josephine Medina of tabel-tennis took the bronze medal yesterday in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Medina beat Germany’s Julianne Wolf in the women’s Class 8, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7, after losing to Thu Kamkasomphou of France during the semifinals at the Riocentro Pavilion.
The 46-year-old Medina’s feat put an end to the country’s 16-year medal drought in the quadrennial event. The last time a medal was won, a bronze, it came from powerlifter Adeline Dumapong during the Sydney Games in 2000.
Medina almost won a medal four years ago in London and never lost hope that she would finally win one.
“I have been praying to God that one day, the Philippines would win a medal. The last time in London, I came close (and) I finished fourth place,” Medina told ITTF website.
Medina posted a 1-1 record in the group stages and earned a semis spot after whipping Aida Husic Dahlen of Norway, 11-5, 3-11, 7-11, 11-2 and 11-8.
Under the law (RA 10699), Medina is guaranteed a cash incentive of P1 million from the government.
Medina’s bronze came a month after Hidilyn Diaz bagged the silver in the Rio Games.