Ernie Gawilan barges into Paralympic freestyle finals

Delfin Dioquino

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Ernie Gawilan barges into Paralympic freestyle finals

FINALS-BOUND. Ernie Gawilan finishes sixth overall in the preliminary heats of the men's 400m freestyle S7.

Jat Tenorio/Red Ox Media Events

After missing the finals bus in the men's 200m individual medley SM7, Ernie Gawilan redeems himself in the men's 400m freestyle S7

Filipino para swimmer Ernie Gawilan bounced back and punched his ticket to the finals of the men’s 400m freestyle S7 in the Tokyo Paralympics on Sunday, August 29.

After missing the finals bus in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7, Gawilan redeemed himself as he finished sixth overall among nine competitors in the freestyle event to qualify for the medal race.

Only the top eight advanced to the finals.

The Asian Games gold medalist clocked 4:58.58 as he landed at fourth place in Heat 2, where world record holder Mark Malyar of Israel set a new Paralympic record of 4:41.82.

Malyar eclipsed the former Paralympic mark of 4:42.81 established by Josef Craig of Great Britain in the 2012 London Games.

Italy’s Federico Bicelli wound up at second with 4:45.53 followed by Argentina’s Inaki Basiloff (4:46.17), Ukraine’s Andrii Trusov (4:57.23), and USA’s Evan Austin (4:57.35).

Singapore’s Wei Soong Toh (5:03.82) and Chinese Taipei’s Liang-da Chen (5:15.89) complete the finals cast.

Gawilan will have a few hours of rest before he sees action in the finals slated at 4 pm later in the day. –

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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.