Two Filipino Paralympians had different fates at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics on Friday as wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan booked himself a ticket to the finals, but swimmer Ernie Gawilan narrowly missed a spot in the medal match.
Mangliwan ranked fourth in his qualifying heat, clocking in 1:03.41, and finished seventh overall in the men’s 400-meter T52. Only top 8 performers in the heats advanced into the final round.
Japanese bet Tomoki Sato lorded over the athletes in the qualifying round, crossing the line at 57.33 seconds, while Irish-American Raymond Martin, who also has Filipino blood, placed second (57.70).
Martin, who is representing the United States, won four gold medals at the 2012 London Paralympics.
Meanwhile, Gawilan barely made it to the finals of the men’s 200-meter individual medley SM7, placing fifth in his heat.
The Pinoy swimmer finished ninth overall to miss the top 8 cut for the medal round. He touched the wall at the 2:50.49 mark behind eventual top qualifiers Mark Malyar of Israel (2:32.86) and Argentina’s Inaki Basiloff (2:33.23).
On Thursday, swimmer Gary Bejino struggled in his Tokyo Paralympics debut, finishing last among 17 swimmers who saw action in the heats.
Bejino, the first Filipino para athlete to compete in Tokyo, clocked three minutes and 17.9 seconds in the heats, 34.12 seconds behind Colombia's Nelson Crispin Corzo, a Rio Para Games double silver medalist, who led seven others into finals with a time of 2:43.07.