Gary Bejino failed to advance to the final of the Tokyo Paralympics swimming competition on Thursday, August 26, at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.
Bejino clocked 3 minutes and 17.19 seconds and finished last in heat 2 of the men’s 200m individual medley SM6 event.
He was 8.55 seconds away from his entry time of 3:08.64, which he achieved in the Philippines’ historic campaign in the 2018 Asian Para Games.
The Filipino placed last out of the 17 swimmers, failing to make the top eight cut for the final slated to happen at 4:22 pm, Philippine time.
Coach Tony Ong said the lackluster showing was due to nerves.
“First time ni Gary to be in the Paralympics and he is still young, masyado ding pressure sa kanya na yung first event (sa Philippine team) sa kanya. I still need to talk to him about it so he can settle down for his successive events,” said Ong.
(It’s Gary’s first time in the Paralympics and he is still young. The pressure of competing first among Philippine team members also took its toll. I still need to talk to him about it so he can settle down for his successive events.)
Competing in the most number of events from the Philippine delegation, Bejino will still see action in three more events – 400m freestyle S6, 100m backstroke, and 50m butterfly – in the coming days of the Tokyo Games.
Ong said he’s expecting his ward would be able to redeem himself in the other events.
The 25-year-old swimmer from Albay qualified for the Tokyo Games based on his performances in the 2018 Asian Para Games where he won a silver and two bronze medals.
When he was seven years old, Bejino had his arm and leg amputated after getting burned from an electric shock. – Rappler.com