MANILA, Philippines – The country’s search for a first Asian Para Games gold medal has ended right on opening day as para swimmer Ernie Gawilan ruled the 2018 continental games on Sunday, October 7 at the Gelora Bung Karno Aquatic Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The 27-year-old clocked 2:52.43 in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7 to bag the gold as Chinese-Taipei’s Chen Liang Da (2:55.90) and India’s Jadhav Suyash Narayan (2:56.51) rounded out the podium winners.
Gawilan – the Davao City native born with no legs and an incomplete arm – also snagged a silver in the men’s 50m freestyle S7 with a 31.93s clocking behind gold medalist Singapore’s Wei Soong Toh (29.01s). Narayan also finished with another bronze with a time of 32.16s.
Aside from Gawilan’s double-medal opening day performance, the Philippine nabbed two more medals for a 5th place standing in the medaly tally.
Gawilan’s teammate Gary Bejino bagged the bronze in the men’s 100m backstroke with a 1:28.54 clocking behind silver medalist Aung Myint Myat of Myanmar (1:24.84) and gold winner Yang Hong of China (1:18.97).
In para powerlifting, Achelle Guion clinched a silver medal after lifting a total of 67kg in the women’s 45kg event. China’s Lingling Guo was unreachable as she broke the world record with a lift of 115kg for the gold.
Kazakhstan’s Alina Solodukhina trailed the Filipina by one kilogram to settle for a bronze medal finish.
Other potential gold-medal bets set to see action for the country in the coming days are veteran para powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta and para table tennis player Josephine Medina. – Rappler.com