Trailing in the seventh spot for most of the race, Gawilan made his move at halfway mark before going full throttle in the seventh lap, emerging from the pool as the first Filipino para swimmer to reach the finals of the quadrennial sportsfest featuring the best para athletes in the world.
He finished 25.18 seconds behind Israel’s Mark Malyar, who led from start to finish in bagging his second gold medal in a new world record of 4:31.06, surpassing his previous mark of 4:33.62 in 2019, with Ukraine’s Andrii Trusov (4:35.56) securing the silver and American Evan Austin (4:38.95) bronze.
“Intense! Hahaha. Finally, Ernie is the first para (Filipino) swimmer to get into the finals. So happy naman kami with the outcome” noted coach Tony Ong of a feat of the Davao City pride, who bested by more than two seconds his qualifying time of 4:58.58 in the morning heats.
Set to compete at 8:42 p.m. (7:42 p.m. in Manila) later are wheelchair racer and Rio Paralympic veteran Jerrold Mangliwan in the men’s 1,500-meter-T52 finals, winding up the day’s PH campaign here backed by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Gawilan’s accomplishment softened somewhat the sad news that discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda and athletic coach Bernard Buen tested positive for COVID-19 and were now quarantined just a few days before the athlete’s event on Tuesday.
“We are sad to share the news that our para athletic discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda and her coach, Bernard Ebuen, tested positive for COVID-19 after undergoing the mandatory saliva antigen test followed by a confirmatory RT-PCR test at the Tokyo Paralympic Athletic Village,” Philippine Paralympic Committee president Mike Barredo said in a statement here.
“Both (Aceveda and Buen) will be brought to an outside quarantine facility in compliance with the Paralympic playbook,” Barredo said.
“Jeanette is greatly disappointed that she will have to withdraw from her event scheduled for Aug. 31. Although she would not be able to fulfill her dream to compete in the Paralympics and represent the Philippines, she still hopes that there will be more chances to make this come true in the future,” he said.
“Notwithstanding this setback, our para athletes are more determined than ever for a chance to achieve Paralympic success and glory for our country. Tuloy ang laban! Mabuhay ang atletang Pilipino!” the PPC chief said.
- Asian Banking & Finance cites BDO’s unwavering service despite the pandemic
- Regional Inflation Eases to 6.0% September 2021
- Negative RT-PCR test still required for air passengers
- Water interruption set on Oct. 15
- Cebu Pacific delivers over 20 million vaccine doses across the Philippines
- ROUGH CUTS | Is this Chinese showing his true color?
- TODAY’S HEADLINES – OCTOBER 14, 2021
- Nobody’s Home hits the road in the music video of Ely Buendia-produced “Cigarette Daydreams”
- Restos, Salons, Gyms, Spas and Cinemas back Concepcion’s proposal of lowering alert levels
- Attractive Real Estate Deals Boost September Online Housing Fair Success