Rio Paralympics: Josephine Medina claims bronze in women's table tennis

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Josephine Medina provided the Philippines its first medal in the 2016 Rio Paralympics by winning bronze in the Women's Singles Class 8 division.

Medina, a polio victim who uses table tennis as a form of therapy, defeated 2015 European Para Championships silver medallist Julianne Wolf in straight sets, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7.

"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," Medina said in an interview with the International Table Tennis Federation.

"That 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."

It was the first medal for the Philippines in the Paralympics since the 2000 games when powerlifter Adeline Dumapong bagged the bronze.

Medina dedicated the victory to her father who died in 2004.

"When you play you must believe and you must give absolutely everything; now the Philippines will not return home without a medal," she added.

China's Mao Jingdian, who defeated Medina in group play, claimed the gold medal by beating France's Thu Kamkasomphu of France.