Ernie Gawilan ends Paralympics stint, lands 10th in backstroke

Delfin Dioquino

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FEAT. Ernie Gawilan was the first Filipino para swimmer to qualify for a Paralympics finals.

Jat Tenorio/Red Ox Media Events

Filipino para swimmer Ernie Gawilan wraps up his Tokyo Paralympics campaign as he fails to reach the finals of his last event

Filipino para swimmer Ernie Gawilan wrapped up his Tokyo Paralympics campaign at 10th place in the men’ 100m backstroke S7 competition on Monday, August 30.

Gawilan failed to reach the finals as he finished last in the heats with a time of 1:21.60, with only the top eight swimmers qualifying for the medal round.

The Asian Games gold medalist in the event had the best reaction time in his heat but fell behind early, clocking nearly 13 seconds behind Argentina’s Pipo Carlomagno, who established a new Paralympic record.

Carlomagno broke the previous Paralympic mark of 1:09.86 set by Great Britain’s Jonathan Fox in 2012 with a time of 1:09.12.

Ukraine’s Andrii Trusov (1:10.20) and Russian Paralympic Committee’s Andrei Gladkov (1:10.84) landed at second and third, respectively.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Mark Malyar – who has won two gold medals in Tokyo so far – wound up at fourth with a time of 1:11.92.

Gawilan competed in three events and qualified for the finals once.

The 30-year-old from Davao City fell short of a finals spot in the men’s 200m individual SM7 with a ninth-place finish in the heats.

He bounced back in the men’s 400m freestyle S7 as he became the first Filipino para swimmer to qualify for a Paralympic finals and landed at sixth place. –

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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.