Tue 30 November 2021

PH para-tankers falter as Gawilan exits Paralympics with dismal swim

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Foreign para-swimmers were too much against the Philippines’ fastest as bemedalled Filipinos from the 2018 Asian Para-Games Ernie Gawilan and Gary Bejino crashed out in contention in their respective races Monday at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.

Gawilan, the winningest legless swimmer in the last Asian Para-Games, was last among ten swimmers in the 100 meter backstroke – SM7 heats with a time of one minute and 21.6 seconds.

He was well behind the fastest Asian swimmer in that race, Chen Liang-da of Taiwan, who clocked in one minute and 18.28 seconds.

Pipo Carlomagno of Argentina lorded the heats with a time of one minute and 9.12 seconds Israeli phenom Mark Malyar afforded only a fourth place finish in the heats with a time of one minute and 11.92 seconds, enough to book a finals ticket.

In the 50-meter butterfly – SM6 heats, Bejino wounded up at 14th place out of 16 swimmers with a time of 36.14 seconds.

Wang Jingang of China topped the heats at 30.81 seconds while Alejandro Rojas Cabrera of Spain was the last entry in the finals at 33.87 seconds—less than three seconds faster than Bejino.

The swim marks the exit of Gawilan, who yesterday entered a Paralympic final for the first time after two stints.

He finished sixth place overall in the 400 meter freestyle – SM7.

Bejino, the less heralded Filipino swimmer, has two races remaining.

[In photo: Filipino para-swimmer Ernie Gawilan]

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