Ernie Gawilan falls short of finals spot in first Paralympic event

Delfin Dioquino

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MORE CHANCES. Ernie Gawilan still has two events left where he can reach the finals.

Jat Tenorio

Veteran Filipino para swimmer finishes at ninth place overall in the heats of the men's 200m individual medley SM7, an event where he won an Asian Games gold medal

Ernie Gawilan fell just a place short of clinching a finals spot in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7 at the Tokyo Paralympics after landing at ninth on Friday, August 27.

Gawilan, who won a gold medal in the previous Asian Games in the same event, clocked 2:50.49 and failed to advance as only the top eight swimmers from the two heats would compete in the finals.

Competing in his second straight Paralympics, the veteran para swimmer fell behind early and ended up at fifth place in Heat 1.

He finished eight seconds behind Pipo Carlomagno of Argentina, who nailed the last finals spot with a time of 2:42.43.

Gawilan will still see action in the men’s 400m freestyle S7 and men’s 100m backstroke S7. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.