KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Paralympic table tennis medallist Josephine Medina has won a gold in each of every ASEAN Para Games she participated in starting in 2003.
She is making sure her golden reign continues.
Medina, who is riding high on her bronze medal effort in last year’s Paralympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, is looking to add another gold to her collection as she competes in the singles event as well as the team event with Minnie de Ramos-Cadag.
All in all, Medina, who has zoomed to No. 6 in the world rankings, has hauled a total of 12 golds in the biennial event including a four-gold haul in the 2008 edition in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
And No. 13 could be coming soon.
Medina, however, isn’t taking the opposition lightly though.
“In all my years competing, I never thought of winning the gold first. I just gave it my best and let things happen,” said the 47-year-old Medina in Filipino. “Good thing for me, I always end up winning the gold medal anyway.”
Thanks to her feats, Medina has gained fame and fortune and, in fact, has received an incentive amounting to P1 million while becoming a priority athlete with a monthly salary of P40,000 from the Philippine Sports Commission.
If she strikes gold here, she will receive P150,000 as incentive.
Medina is very thankful that her hard work and determination is paying off.
“Before, we’re like floating athletes, we only get to train a month or two before a competition,” said Medina, who was taught of the sport by his father Roberto, a former national team player, as part of her therapy.
“I’m very thankful that our dream is coming true,” she added.
Medina even remembered being refused by TATAP to be part of the regular national team a couple of decades ago because of her disability.
“I was winning medals in the National Open and age-group but they didn’t accept me because of my disability,” she recalled. “Maybe it was a blessing in disguise because I wouldn’t be given this opportunity if it hadn’t happened.”